Dickerson reports that Homan had been “the most strident” in deterring asylum-seekers by separating families legally seeking refuge, raising the proposal during a 2014 meeting with then-Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. Johnson confirmed the idea had been raised and rejected as “heartless and impractical.”
“This is the earliest instance I’ve discovered of family separation being proposed as a way to deter migration to the United States,” Dickerson reported. (The U.S. similarly separated enslaved children and American Indian children from their parents). “This makes Tom Homan the father of what might be the Trump administration’s most controversial policy,” Dickerson continued. Border officials had “piloted” separations in 2017, pushing a widespread policy the following year under former Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
Nielsen’s deputy chief of staff told Dickerson “she was shaken by the nonchalance with which” officials including “Homan had proposed taking vast numbers of children away from their parents.” She said they weren’t “grasping the humanity of the situation,” they just seemed interested in appeasing the insurrectionist president and white supremacist Stephen Miller. The latter of these two racists had reportedly sought to steal as many as 26,000 children from their parents. And while Nielsen’s deputy might have been “shaken,” her boss also lied about the existence of a family separation policy. There’s no such thing as an innocent party here.
Just days before a federal judge ordered a halt to this crime against humanity and told officials to reunite 2,600 children (they missed the deadline by months), Homan froze during a televised interview when asked if the policy was humane. “I think—I think it is the law,” the liar said in a lie. Earlier that year, Homan had claimed in another bold lie that ICE doesn’t sweep up people who aren’t targets. But ICE does, and there’s even a crass term for it: collateral arrests. Homan was such a liar that an ICE spokesperson resigned rather than continue spreading lies for him. Woof, and we haven’t even touched on Homan speaking at an event hosted by an anti-immigrant hate group while he was still in his government position.
”Homan acknowledged that many people would think him evil for proposing the idea [of family separation], but he said it was intended to help families, not hurt them,” Dickerson reported. Right. The insurrectionist administration ignored warnings from its own people to not separate families, and it doesn’t take a mental health or child welfare expert to know that violently tearing a child from its parent will terrify them. (Especially in asylum-seeking families who may have already suffered traumatic events.) If Homan were really seeking to help them, he would have allowed them to pursue their asylum claims.
“Homan retired from ICE at the end of June 2018, and that August, Fox rewarded him with a job as a network contributor,” Media Matters said, one of more than a dozen former officials to have skated over to the propaganda network. The Biden administration continues to work to reunite families cruelly ripped apart by former officials like Homan. “More than 5,000 families were separated under Trump’s 2018 ‘zero tolerance’ policy and a 2017 pilot program and advocates estimate over 1,000 remain separated,” NBC News said. Read Dickerson’s entire report (and you should) here.
While Republicans try to overturn elections and make it harder to vote, volunteer to help save democracy by encouraging people to cast their ballots. Click here to view hundreds of local and national Get Out the Vote opportunities on the Daily Kos Mobilize feed, and sign up to volunteer on a national campaign or one near you.
Acting ICE director Thomas Homan is quickly becoming one of the most dangerous men in America
Former ICE official went to racist conference but left early, then walked back his walk-out
Separated mom was told to forget about her son because he would be put up for adoption, lawsuit says