Democrats on the House Oversight and Reform Committee took advantage of the camera to question the humanity of former acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) chief Tom Homan, and he didn’t pull any punches in letting them know how he felt about that.
The hearing that focused on the treatment of migrant children at Department of Homeland Security facilities along the border erupted into an all-out verbal brawl when Rep. Jesús García (D-Ill.) accused Homan of not caring about the death of migrant children because they do not “look like” his own children.
Garcia used his time to berate Homan saying, “How can you possibly allow this to happen under your watch? “Is it because these children don’t look like children that are around you?”
Homan joined what was then called Immigration and Naturalization Service in 1986 and served as border patrol agent, investigator, and supervisor before rising to the position of Executive Associate Director in 2013.
The 30 years veteran fired back at Garcia, “Your comments are disgusting. For you to sit there and insult my integrity, and my love for my country, and for children, that’s why this whole thing needs to be fixed! You’re the member of Congress, fix it!”
Garcia was not alone in his attack on Homan’s character. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) blasted the former ICE director saying it was “hardly humane care” when he oversaw migrants being treated like “subhumans.”
He continued with his rant asking, “Is there no limit to what you will justify in this administration when it comes to the mistreatment of our fellow human beings and do you have no shame about the facts, as our colleagues said this morning, it’s all done in the shadow of the American flag?”
Freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) carried the histrionics to a new level when she broke down in tears as she recalled her visit to the border. She demanded the use of the term “illegal immigrant” treats migrants as though they are not human. “No one is illegal,” she insisted. “That term is derogatory because it dehumanizes people.”
Homan refused to be a scapegoat for Congress’ lack of action telling Connolly he was “extremely frustrated” by the congressman’s characterization.
The Democrat Congressman replied, “I don’t care! You’re not at the border right now! You’re in a hearing room! It’s my time!”
It was at that point during the hearing that Homan passionately replied, “Have you ever held a deceased child in your arms?…Your comments are disgusting….and yes I have held a 5-year-old boy in my arms and said a prayer for him knowing what his last 30 minutes was like.”
When Homan told Garcia that Washington needs to fix the problem, the Congressman replied, “We agree on that. But I also disagree with your characterization of immigrants as prone to criminality.”
Homan showed the steel of a battle-scarred veteran when he refused to allow Democrats like New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez get away with false claims that agents made migrants drink water from toilet bowls.
He pushed back on misleading rhetoric being used by lawmakers, pointing out, “The same people that vilify [the] Border Patrol for detention conditions are the same people that refuse to answer the call for help until it’s too late.”
This was an apparent jab at Democrats who refused to back a bill increasing humanitarian funding by $4.5 billion to the border.
Speaking on Fox & Friends after the hearing, Homan said he tried to not be confrontational, but he “had enough” when Garcia called him a “racist” and said he “didn’t care about dying children.”
Homan said Democrats repeatedly made false accusations and would not let him respond. He said the hearing was nothing more than “political theater” and had nothing to do with transparency. He said,” They didn’t want to hear the truth. They wanted to push their narrative and not let me speak. … They wanted me to get up and walk out and I wasn’t gonna give that to them.”
Rather than shut up or leave, Homan said what he thought about was “getting up and throwing that man a beating right in the middle of the room.” The former ICE head said you can’t tell someone who has spent their career saving lives” they are racist and “don’t care about dying children.”
Perhaps Washington could use a few of those beat downs.