WASHINGTON — President Trump on Tuesday named immigration hardliner Tom Homan, who has served nearly 10 months as acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, to run ICE on a permanent basis.
Homan has run the agency since Obama appointee Sarah Saldaña — the former U.S. attorney in Dallas — stepped down when Trump took office in January. He has been a public face of the administration's crackdowns on immigrants and border security, a tough talking law enforcement careerist who is unapologetic about being "heartless" when it comes to deporting even the most sympathetic longtime U.S. residents.
"I get asked all the time, 'Why do you arrest somebody that has been here for 10 years, for 15 years in the USA and has kids?,'" he said a month ago at the conservative Heritage Foundation. "If we keep sending this message, 'It's OK to violate the laws of this country and ... not be worried about enforcement,' then we're never going to solve the border crisis.... It's never going to be solved as long as people think they get a free pass."
The White House announced the nomination with no fanfare, in a formal notice that Trump was sending Homan's name to the Senate. The president was flying from Manila to Hawaii on his way back to Washington after a 13-day Asia trip.