• Panelists discuss immigration policies during the FCEA Homeland Security Conference.
     Panelists discuss immigration policies during the FCEA Homeland Security Conference.

Blog: The Laws for Border Control Already Exist

September 12, 2017
By Beverly Mowery Cooper


Immigration enforcement legislation has not changed, but the results have.


The president’s executive orders on immigration can be summarized in one sentence: You will now enforce the laws enacted by Congress, said Thomas Homan, acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). “We have no new laws, just law enforcement. We must protect the border to remain a sovereign country,” Homan explained during the AFCEA Homeland Security Conference in Washington D.C.  

Since January 22, 2017, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has arrested 97,000 removable aliens, a 42 percent increase. “The policies of this administration are working. The numbers show true interior immigration enforcement, which has put the border under more control than in 33 years,” he added.

National security threats remain the top priority for ICE, Homan said. Other priorities are removing re-entries, people who have been removed and have come back, and removing immigration fugitives,—individuals who had due process and were order to leave.

Despite what you may read or hear, “every person arrested is part of a targeted enforcement,” said Homan. Authorities know who they are going to arrest, he emphasized. Of the 97,000 arrested this year, 88 percent of the people have a criminal conviction or criminal arrest. Officials do not arrest in churches, schools or hospitals, he stated. Immigrant communities fear criminals too.

Keep in mind, Homan warned, on the criminal side, we also line the pockets of organizations that smuggle people into the country. “This is why I work so hard to send the right message. People are dying trying to get into the country. They think they have a safe haven here.” And the same people who smuggle immigrants also smuggle drugs, weapons and terrorists. “We need to take this business out of their pockets,” he stressed. 

“Immigration enforcement is controversial and emotional, but I am a law enforcement officer who swore to enforce the laws of this country. ICE has 20,000 men and women who put their lives on the line for this country. All immigrants need to look over their shoulders,” Homan concluded.

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