Washington, DC – Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Thomas Homan denounced California Governor Jerry Brown’s decision to endorse California’s “sanctuary state” law on Tuesday, and vowed to “significantly increase” the agency’s presence in the state.
The California Values Act, which was signed in to law by Gov. Jerry Brown in October 2017, “bars law enforcement officers from arresting individuals based on civil immigration warrants, asking about a person’s immigration status, or participating in any joint task force with federal officials for the purpose of enforcing immigration laws,” The Political Insider reported.
The law was officially implemented on Monday.
During his Tuesday interview with FOX News Channel’s Neil Cavuto, Homan noted that “smuggling organizations” are using the sanctuary law as “a selling point” to further their criminal networks.
“More illegal aliens will be coming to California,” he promised. “California just bit off a lot more than they can chew.”
Homan expressed outrage that politicians opted to protect illegal aliens over their own citizens and law enforcement officers.
“No one thought about the safety of law enforcement when this decision was made,” he said.
“What they’ve done is forced my officers to arrest dangerous criminals on their turf, in their homes and their places of business, rather than arresting them in the safety and security of a county jail,” Homan explained. “It’s ridiculous to knowingly and intentionally put law enforcement at risk…and the communities themselves put at risk.”
He said that local police support ICE’s mission, but that they are being held back by politics.
“The street cops – they do not like this legislation,” Homan said. “They’re totally against it. The street cops understand what we’re trying to do. We want to take public safety threats out of the communities.”
Homan said that ICE has no intention of standing idly by while crime rates increase in California.
“If the politicians in California don’t want to protect their communities, then ICE will,” he said. “California better hold on tight.”
“If [Gov. Brown] thinks he’s protecting the immigrant community, he’s doing quite the opposite, because if you think ICE is going away, we’re not. There’s no sanctuary from federal law enforcement,” Homan promised.
ICE has already begun the process of sending more manpower to the state.
“I’m going to significantly increase our enforcement presence in California,” Homan said. “They’re about to see a lot more special agents, a lot more deportation officers.”
Homan also urged the Department of Justice to charge officials who enact legislation that attempts to shield illegal and criminal aliens, and said they should be held accountable for violating federal law and putting citizens and local law enforcement officers at risk.
“For these sanctuary cities that knowingly shield and harbor an illegal alien in their jail and don’t allow us access, that is…a violation of…an alien smuggling statute. I’ve asked the Department of Justice to look at this…can we hold them accountable? Are the violating federal law?” Homan asked.
Homan argued that sanctuary policies and viewpoints have already resulted in what he called the “victimization of the American community.”
“No one thought about cases like Kate Steinle,” he said, before he recounted a recent domestic violence incident in Sonoma County.
The perpetrator was an illegal alien, so ICE put a detainer on him, Homan said.
“Sonoma County didn’t honor the detainer,” he recalled. “What happened? Two weeks later, he killed that girl. Now she has two young daughters without a mother.”
Government officials cannot be allowed to look the other way while the public is victimized, Homan said.
“More citizens are going to die because of these policies, and these politicians can’t make these decisions and be held unaccountable for people dying,” he said.
Above all, Homan expressed his admiration and appreciation for law enforcement officers who serve their communities.
“I’ve got 20,000 American patriots that work for ICE,” he said. “They strap a gun to their hip every day and leave the safety and security of their homes to protect these communities and to protect the homeland.”
“We’re going to be all over the place, and we’re going to enforce law without apology,” Homan vowed.