ICE will be left without ringleader
The acting director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Thomas Homan, plans to retire from office in the coming months, not without leaving behind a controversial reputation.
The most important man in Trump's deportation machine will announce his retirement tonight at an awards ceremony of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association Foundation.
The Wall Street Journal initially reported that Thomas Homan, "the controversial acting director" of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), plans to retire during the month of June, according to three people familiar with the matter.
Homan has had a long career as an agency officer and was nominated to the ICE leadership by Trump, after having demonstrated his open support for the new immigration measures.
"The tough-talking, barrel-chested former Border Patrol agent quickly became an unapologetic enthusiast for the administration’s more aggressive enforcement approach," recalls the Washington Post.
And his development as head of the agency proved just that.
During his tenure, the number of arrests (with or without criminal records) and deportations have increased significantly in recent months, even though some figures show that undocumented traffic across the border has declined.
According to the Daily Kos, “not only have (Homan’s) agents been picking up immigrant moms and dads with decades in the U.S. and no criminal record, but Homan himself has weaponized and politicized the agency to march lock-step alongside the administration’s racist war on immigrants and so-called ‘sanctuary cities’.”
While the acting director was already planning to retire before accepting Trump's offer, his brief career as a leader of the agency was hampered by the sidelining of the Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirsten Nielsen, during the past few months, as compiled by Washington Post.
Therefore, Homan would have announced to Nielsen his intention to retire at the beginning of last February, but she "urged him to delay the announcement because there was already a so much turnover in the highest levels of the administration.”
However, some assume that Homan's early withdrawal could be due to his reluctance to be evaluated by the Senate to take the post permanently.
In a letter issued last Friday, "nearly 20 Senate Democrats asked the Department of Homeland Security to provide documents explaining why Homan's nomination had stalled, suggesting that the Department didn’t want him to face scrutiny," continues the Post.
Even if Homan can evade the Senate's evaluation and retire in time, his legacy as ICE leader will be unforgettable, especially for thousands of immigrants and families who have been separated and deported thanks to a cruel partisan battle.