Thomas Homan could potentially become the next Secretary of Homeland Security. President Donald Trump is reportedly looking to do some reshuffling in his administration.
Current Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is first on the list to replace, allegedly because the president feels she has not taken a firm enough stance on immigration. Sources “familiar with the process” told Politico that Thomas Homan’s name has been mentioned as a possible permanent replacement. Homan previously served as the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement until he retired on June 29, 2018. He is now a contributor for Fox News.
1. Thomas Homan Praised Kirstjen Nielsen When Asked to Respond to Speculation That He May Be Asked to Replace Her as Homeland Security Secretary
Thomas Homan appeared on Fox & Friends on Wednesday, November 14, amid growing speculation that he could be asked to serve as the next Homeland Security secretary. You can watch that interview above. Host Steve Doocy started the interview by asking Homan to talk about the caravan of immigrants and asylum seekers slowly traveling toward the United States. (As of November 13, 350 migrants had reached the border. But the majority, about 5,000 people, are still more than 1,000 miles away).
Homan talked about how the migrants would be “metered in.” He said he supports keeping people who come into the country legally should be detained until they can appear before a judge. “They’ll get their due process, but if a judge orders them removed, they gotta go.”
Ainsley Earhardt then asked Homan for his reaction to the headline in Politico, that stated that the president was considering him for the top job at Homeland Security. Homan smiled and said, “I knew you were going to ask me this question,” which prompted a laugh from the hosts. Homan’s continued response indicated that he has not had any conversations as of yet with anyone in the Trump administration about the job. He also used the opportunity to praise Secretary Nielsen.
“I’m not going to speculate on what the president is going to do. I think we got a strong secretary. I worked with Secretary Nielsen for seven months before I retired. It’s a 24/7, 365 job. With immigration, 50 percent of America hates you 100 percent of the time. You can’t win on this topic because it’s so divisive, so controversial, so emotional. But I think she’s working hard, doing a good job. We’ve got a secretary who serves at the pleasure of the president. If the president is going to make a change, I mean that’s certainly his prerogative. But I really don’t want to speculate on what the president is going to do.”
Homan went on to praise Nielsen for stepping up to do the job when she was asked, saying that she deserves support. He explained that she had “grabbed the bat and stepped up to the plate. So all these people that want to attack her all the time and attack this administration, I don’t see them stepping up to the plate. They have no mettle and no fortitude.”
2. Thomas Homan Shares President Trump’s Views on Immigration & Has Accused Democrats of Wanting Open Borders
Thoman Homan frequently shares his tough stance on immigration control as a contributor to Fox News. During an appearance on October 18, Fox & Friends shared a tweet from President Trump, in which he accused of Democrats of failing to “approve legislation that will allow laws for the protection of our country.”
Homan began the interview by agreeing wholeheartedly with President Trump. “The president is 100 percent accurate on this.” Homan explained that in his previous roles, he spoke with lawmakers about “closing those loopholes.” He accused Democrats of failing to address immigration issues. Homan claimed that it’s too easy for people to be granted asylum.
He then talked about the current law which states that the government is not to detain families at the border for longer than 20 days. He explained that it not enough time to see a judge. Homan referred to that policy as a loophole that lawmakers need to close. Homan accused the Democrats of making the issue about President Trump, arguing that they “want the president to have a fail on this issue.”
3. Thomas Homan on Family Separation at the Border: ‘It’s the Law’
In June of 2018, reports of children being separated from their parents at the border dominated headlines nationwide. The number of children, including babies, being held at federal detention facilities skyrocketed.
At the time, Thomas Homan was in his final days of serving as the director of ICE. (He retired at the end of June). He said during a discussion televised on C-SPAN that the detained children were receiving better food and medical care than many American citizens have.
Later that month, Homan was asked about the separation policy during an interview on CNN. Wolf Blitzer asked Homan if separating children from their parents was inhumane. Homan responded, “I think it’s the law… I’m a law enforcement officer and must follow the law.” He went on to stress that any punishment was the fault of the “parents who choose to break the law.”
According to the New York Times, the federal government had 2,400 children in custody in May of 2017. By September of 2018, the number was estimated at 12,800. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the numbers have shot up because they’re being held for longer lengths of time. Fewer children have been released to live with other family members or sponsors; it’s not because there is a dramatic increase in children crossing the border.
4. Thomas Homan Worked as a Law Enforcement Officer For More Than Three Decades
Thomas Homan has spent his entire professional career in some form of law enforcement. After earning a college degree in criminal justice, Homan began working as a police officer in his hometown of West Carthage, New York. According to the Watertown Daily Times, Homan went on to work as a border patrol agent.
Homan began working for the Department of Homeland Security in 2006, according to his LinkedIn page. In January of 2009, he was promoted to Assistant Director of Enforcement. After a year in that position, he was promoted again to Deputy Associate Director of ICE. He listed key achievements in this role on his LinkedIn page:
• Removed more than 409,700 aliens from the United States including 225,000 criminal aliens
• Identified more than 235,000 dangerous criminal aliens in U.S. jails and prisons
• Prosecuted more than 11,800 egregious, recidivist criminal aliens
• Arrested more than 35,000 aliens through the Fugitive Operations Program
• Hired and trained more than 3,000 new ERO employees
• Through public speaking engagements, raised public and community awareness about the issues of immigration, border security, detention reform, projecting ICE’s commitment to protecting the Nation and its borders
In May of 2013, Homan moved up to the Executive Associate Director position with ICE. While serving in that position, President Obama awarded Homan the Presidential Rank Award as a Distinguished Executive. His final move was in January 2017, when President Trump asked him to serve as the director of ICE. His title remained “Acting Director” because he was never confirmed by the Senate. He retired June 29, 2018.
5. Homan Retired From Federal Service in June 2018 & Said He Wanted to Focus More on Family
Thomas Homan announced in April of 2018 that he planned to step down as the Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He released the following statement at the time:
“It has been the honor of my life to lead the men and women of ICE for more than a year. The decision to leave federal service after more than 34 years is bittersweet, but my family has sacrificed a lot in order for me to serve and it’s time for me to focus on them. I am humbled and inspired by the 20,000 American patriots who serve this agency and protect our nation, increasingly in the face of unfair and false criticism from politicians and the media.
Because of their tremendous dedication and hard work, we have made significant progress this past year in enforcing our nation’s immigration and customs laws, and in protecting public safety and national security. I will continue to be a strong advocate for the workforce and for the ICE mission.”