Thomas Homan – former President Barack Obama’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) executive associate director for almost four years – said that the “cages” used to hold illegal immigrants that many Democrats have blamed on President Donald Trump were crafted during Obama’s tenure. Homan added that he knows about the facility’s design because “I was there when it was built.”
Homan served as the ICE executive associate director under Obama from May 2013 through January 2017. During that time, he was responsible for, according to a report by the Daily Wire, “promoting public safety and national security by maintaining direct oversight of critical ICE programs and operations to identify, locate, arrest, detain and remove illegal aliens from the United States.”
“I’ve been to that facility, where they talk about cages,” said Homan on Wednesday. “That facility was built under President Obama under (Homeland Security) Secretary Jeh Johnson. I was there because I was there when it was built.”
While speaking at a conference that was hosted by the Center for Immigration Studies, Homan tore into Democrats who blame Trump immigration officials for ideas that were spawned during the Obama administration. He cited an incident where a Democratic chairman asked a Trump official, “You still keeping kids in cages?”
Homan then stated, “I would answer the question, ‘The kids are being housed in the same facility built under the Obama administration.’ If you want to call them cages, call them cages. But if the left wants to call them cages and the Democrats want to call them cages then they have to accept the fact that they were built and funded in FY 2015.”
Homan went on to assert that the facilities where illegal immigrants are held “were not built to take care of children.” He also noted that the recent increase of younger illegal immigrants is an emerging trend.
He also took issue with the spaces where children are kept being described as cages. “It’s chain link dividers that keep children separate from unrelated adults,” said Homan. “It’s about protecting children.”
Homan added that it was the only facility available until another agency – part of Health and Human Services (HHS) – is able to collect the children.
He went on to state that Congress has not funded HHS adequately, adding that the humanitarian aid bill that is working its way through Congress would help the situation, but that the House version amounted to “extortion” because it would cut funding for enforcement.