Yesterday, USA Today published an Alan Gomez interview with acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Thomas Homan in which Homan promised that the Administration’s immigration crackdown was just getting started:
MIAMI — In the seven months since Thomas Homan was appointed to carry out President Trump’s promises to crack down on undocumented immigrants living in the U.S., he has been accused of abusing that power by targeting undocumented immigrants without criminal records.
So far, the data seems to back up those accusations, with the percentage of undocumented immigrants without a criminal record arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents increasing each month, from 18% in January to 30% in June.
But Homan, a 33-year law enforcement veteran who has worked along the southern border and is now the acting director of ICE, doesn’t shy away from those numbers. In fact, he said they’re only the start.
“You’re going to continue to see an increase in that,” Homan told USA TODAY during a visit to Miami on Wednesday.
Homan was in Miami with Attorney General Jeff Sessions to denounce so-called “sanctuary cities” (for an excellent take on the event, see this Fabiola Santiago column from today’s Miami Herald). As we highlighted yesterday, the Trump Administration’s obsession with sanctuary cities, as well as their indiscriminate approach to deportations, reveal that the Administration is more interested in ramping up deportations than in actually protecting the public from crime (read this overview as a reminder of why the anti-sanctuary city push undermines public safety).
But this has never been a debate solely about statistics and policy. What’s at stake is the future and lives of millions of people and their American families. And while Homan and other Administration spokespeople proudly trumpet their ramped up deportations, the real lives and communities left behind tell a different story.
The www.fwd.us/consequences website has become a repository of the devastation Trump’s deportations are having on ordinary American families. Below are a few recent additions:
- Agustin Guzaro was detained one day as he stood curbside waiting to secure work as a day laborer in West Palm Beach. He was detained absent any criminal charges and is being held at a detention center in Miami according to his immigration attorney. [myPalmBeachPost, 08/16/17]
- Maria Mendoza Sanchez, a nurse in Oakland and mother of four who has lived in the United States for 23 years, was issued a deportation order, absent any criminal charges. She was denied a temporary stay and has since been deported with her husband. [San Francisco Chronicle, 08/09/17]
- Eusebio Sanchez and his wife Maria Mendoza Sanchez, were denied a their petition to stay after being issued a deportation order. He has been a truck-driver for the last 12 years, has sent 2 of their four kids to college and his wife to earn her nursing degree. They have since been deported back to the state of Hidalgo in Mexico. [Mercury News, 08/16/17]
- Humberto Cantero, father of four and has been living in the United States for over 15 years, was stopped for driving without a license in February and has since been detained. He is awaiting a final immigration hearing to determine if he will be deported back to Mexico. [ABC7NY, 08/08/17]
- Nixon Arias, a native of Honduras had been working in the country for more than a decade and is a father of three boys. He worked on and off for a landscaping company when he got injured on the job, and tried to file insurance for medical care due to his injuries with a faulty social security number. He was then arrested and subsequently deported, after dropping off his children at school, with his toddler watching from the back seat. [NPR, 08/16/17]
- Juvenal Dominguez has lived in the United States for 19 years, when a construction trench he was working in collapsed causing, burying him in dirt and causing him to sprain his knee. A month later, an insurance company turned him into state investigators after he made up a social security number to be able to work and use worker’s compensation for his injuries. Dominguez was later detained and put into deportation proceedings. [NPR, 08/16/17]
- William Siguencia has lived in the United States since 2002 and is married to a U.S. citizen, was detained by ICE after he bravely testified in two Brooklyn homicide cases. ICE objected to releasing Siguencia Hurtado on $20,000 bond, that was ultimately granted. [Daily News NY, 08/15/17]
- Chamroeun Phan was recently granted a cancel of removal, however DHS has said that they would appeal this decision, resulting in keeping Phan in detention. Phan was part of the ‘Minnesota 8’ men who have been fighting deportation. [SEARC, 05/22/17]
- Sameth Nhean has been detained awaits a deportation order. Previously, he had been granted a waiver canceling his deportation allowing him to regain his green card, however due to new enforcement priorities and an old charge on his record, DHS plans to appeal the decision and refuses to release Nhean from detention. [SEARC, 08/07/17]
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund:
There’s a reason ICE is considered one of the worst law enforcement agencies in the country. They talk about targeting criminals while going after those with no criminal record. They whine about having to go after bad guys themselves because it’s hard. They bully local police to do the job they were hired to do because it drives up ICE’s arrest statistics. And they spew lies about immigrant criminality in order to cover for their unwillingness to prioritize serious criminals. Homan may think he’s having a moment. In fact, it’s more than a moment. He’ll never be forgotten. And history will not be kind to him and his full embrace of the Trump-Sessions deportation push.