Thomas D. Homan, the acting head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had some harsh words for the nation’s sanctuary cities this week. In an interview with the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard, Homan wasn’t pulling any punches, labeling the actions of these rogue municipalities as un-American. And he’s naming names.
“Sanctuary cities, in my opinion, are un-American,” said Thomas D. Homan in an interview with Secrets.
By harboring criminal illegal immigrants, the jurisdictions are boosting crime, he said.
“In the last year, I’ve read all these stories of how the crime rate has exploded in Chicago, and the president’s trying to help them. We’re stepping up our game in Chicago. Is Chicago doing everything that it can to decrease the criminal activity up there? I say no,” Homan said.
“I say no because if you’re an illegal alien, and you get arrested in the United States for a crime, and you get booked in Cook County, Chicago, my officers aren’t allowed in the jail. They don’t accept our detainers. They don’t share information with us,” he said.
Homan didn’t stop with Chicago. He went on to call out San Francisco, saying “how soon they forget.” (An obvious reference to Kate Steinle, of Kate’s Law fame.) After that he chose to highlight New York City, site of the most horrific terrorist event in this nation’s history. He went on to point out that these are all cities which don’t accept ICE detainers and how those actions put their own citizens at risk.
Whether intended or not, this public statement from ICE is going to bring renewed focus on a pending Senate vote on the two immigration laws which recently passed the House. One is the aforementioned Kate’s Law which will toughen penalties for illegal aliens who attempt to reenter the country after committing a crime. The other, more controversial one will cut some federal funding to the sanctuary cities that Homan is talking about. The Democrats have been managing to hold the line on obstructing GOP initiatives thus far, but they may have some defections here. In the House, at least two dozen Democrats jumped ship and supported these measures. In the Senate, there are three Democrats who have previously voted for similar measures (Donnelly, Manchin and Heitkamp). And as The Hill recently described it, there are ten of them on the bubble right now who may not survive a no vote if they stick to the party line.
Democrats previously blocked similar proposals in 2015 and 2016. But a renewed push could force the 10 senators running for reelection in purple and red states won by Trump to take a tough, politically controversial vote.
A top House Democratic aide predicted that “Kate’s Law” would be used in campaign ads against vulnerable Democrats.
“The ad writes itself,” said the aide. “They’re gonna use Kate Steinle’s picture in a Willie Horton-style ad,” referring to a controversial 1988 TV ad used by President George H.W. Bush’s campaign against Michael Dukakis.
Red-state Democrats are remaining tightlipped about the two immigration bills amid the fight in the Senate over repealing ObamaCare.
These measures were a key campaign issue for President Trump so there’s no question about his signing them if they make it to his desk. And having the head of ICE out there thrashing the sanctuary cities is probably part of the effort to build public support. So how hard will Chuck Schumer push to force his most vulnerable members to take a bullet on this one for the sake of protecting criminal illegal aliens? Stay tuned.