In the wake of escalating border crossings and the challenges posed to national security, a familiar voice has re-emerged, advocating for a return to previous immigration enforcement strategies. Tom Homan, former director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), has strongly suggested reinstating policies from the Trump administration to restore order and security at the southern border.
During a recent appearance on the Counter Culture Podcast with Dan Proft, Homan, who served as acting ICE director under President Donald Trump, critiqued current border strategies as failing due to policy, not resources. He emphasized that the previous administration had achieved “the most secure border in our lifetime” through measures that could be reinstated: mandating E-Verify and completing the border wall before moving forward with discussions on future immigration.
Former ICE Director Tom Homan tells me what he would do if he was a GOP member of Congress on my latest Counterculture podcast:
— Dan Proft (@DanProft) November 2, 2023
His experience in law enforcement, beginning as a police officer in West Carthage, New York, and spanning a career with ICE starting in 1984, lends weight to his perspectives. Appointed as the Executive Associate Director of ICE by President Barack Obama in 2013, Homan has seen the inner workings of immigration policy across different administrations.
Data and the concerns of other officials support Homan’s assertions. Mark Morgan, former U.S. Customs and Border Protection Chief, estimates that the number of people who have illegally entered the U.S. and evaded capture in fiscal 2023 is closer to one million, far exceeding the “over 600,000” reported by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Morgan contends that the figures since January 2021 could be undervalued by at least 20%, suggesting a far greater number of “gotaways” than officially acknowledged.
— New England Patriot 🇺🇲 (@garyb1776) November 4, 2023
The term “gotaways” refers to individuals who enter the U.S. between ports of entry and avoid apprehension, often with the intent to elude law enforcement due to criminal backgrounds. Concerns escalate with the admission that the number of such individuals on the Terror Watchlist or Special Interest Aliens is unknown.
Morgan is not alone in his critique. Homan has also voiced his alarm, especially about the potential for terrorists to exploit porous borders. The apprehension of thousands of “special interest aliens” from countries associated with terrorism by Border Patrol agents in the last two years has further amplified anxieties.
These concerns are not merely hypothetical. The fiscal year 2023 has seen a record number of encounters with individuals on the FBI terror watch list at the southern border, surpassing the combined total of the previous six years. The brazenness of recent terror attacks, like those by Hamas across the border from Gaza into Israel, serves as a stark reminder of the vulnerabilities that unsecured borders present.
Critics, including Homan, have directly challenged Mayorkas, claiming his policies have dismantled the secure border framework established during the Trump era, thereby elevating the border situation to “the greatest national security threat since 9/11.” Some, including Homan and several Congressional Republicans, advocate for Mayorkas’ impeachment, accusing him of dereliction of duty.
As the debate continues, the voices of those like Homan, who call for a policy reversal, resonate with a segment of the public and policymakers who seek to balance humanitarian concerns with the imperative of national security. Whether these calls will catalyze change remains to be seen. Still, they underscore the ongoing contention surrounding U.S. border policy and its implications for the country’s future.