Former acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Tom Homan said Monday that he was so incensed by one congressman’s remarks last Friday during a House hearing, he thought about “throwing that man a beating right in the middle of the room.”
Homan appeared on “Fox & Friends” to discuss comments made by Rep. Jesus Garcia, an Illinois Democrat, during a Friday committee meeting on immigration officials’ treatment of detained migrants.
Several Democrat lawmakers, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, sparred with Homan on Friday. But Garcia’s remarks, which Homan characterized as “disgusting,” were a bridge too far for the retired ICE official.
“If you noticed, I hesitated a minute before I started yelling because I actually thought about getting up and throwing that man a beating right there in the middle of the room, because when you tell somebody who has spent their career saving lives that I don’t care about dying children and I’m a racist, that’s when I broke and that’s where I had enough,” Homan said.
“Do you understand that the consequences of separation of many children will be lifelong trauma and carried across generations?” Garcia, an Illinois Democrat asked Homan during the hearing. “Have we not learned from the internment from Japanese Americans, Mr. Homan, I’m a father. Do you have children? How can you possibly allow this to happen under your watch? Do you not care? Is it because these children don’t look like children that are around you? I don’t get it. Have you ever held a deceased child in your arms?”
“First of all, your comments are disgusting. I’ve served my country 34 years,” Homan replied, before relating an anecdote involving a migrant child.
“This is out of control,” he continued. “And yes, I held a 5-year-old boy in my arms in back of that tractor-trailer. I knelt down beside him and said a prayer for him. Because I knew what his last 30 minutes of his life were like. And I had a 5-year-old son at the time. What I’ve been trying to do my 34 years serving my nation is to save lives. So, for you to sit there and insult my integrity and my love of my country and for children, that’s why this whole thing needs to be fixed. And you’re the member of Congress. Fix it.”
Host Ainsley Earhardt asked Homan to elaborate on the heartrending scene he had described to Garcia.
“I got called to a crime scene; they flew me in; the Rangers kept the scene hot; when I showed up there’s 19 dead aliens that were in back of the tractor-trailer. I stood in back of that tractor-trailer with 19 dead people at my feet,” Homan said. “Think about that. And there’s a 5-year-old little boy that suffocated in his father’s arms. And his father was cradling him; his father also died. I knelt down beside that child, because I had a 5-year-old at the time, and I said a prayer, because I knew, what was his last 30 minutes of life like. What did that little kid suffer; could not breathe; the heat in that trailer was incredible; they’re in a metal box. And I knelt down because I had a 5-year-old son at the time, and you look around and you’ve got all these dead people at your feet; I didn’t sleep for a week.”
Tom Homan caught in the crossfire of a contentious immigration debate
In recent weeks, Democrats have ramped up their rhetoric against the Trump’s administration’s handling of the border crisis.
Ocasio-Cortez has been leading critics of President Donald Trump’s immigration regime, treating it as an atrocity on a historic scale. Although Trump nixed a controversial zero tolerance policy in June, just two months after it was announced, the congresswoman has discovered new reasons for outrage. Last month, she began comparing overcrowded migrant detention centers on the border – formerly used, and in some cases build by former President Barack Obama – to Nazi concentration camps.
The tense exchange from between the freshman congresswoman and Homan went viral last week.