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WATCH: Former ICE chief blasts Congress and media for 'constant attacks' on ICE and Border Patrol agents


They deserve better

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Former ICE chief Thomas Homan has had enough of the treatment that federal immigration officers have recently received from members of Congress and the legacy media, and he put both on blast at a hearing of the House Oversight Committee on Friday.

During his opening statement, Homan called out the "unprecedented attack and vilification of men and women of the Border Patrol" amid the ongoing border crisis. "These men and women who chose a life of service to this country deserve better" from both Congress and the media.

"As a 34-year veteran of law enforcement," Homan said, "It is shocking — shocking — to see constant attacks against those that leave the safety and security of their homes every day, put on a Kevlar vest and put a gun on their hip, and risk their own safety to defend this nation."

Homan also noted that the "spirit of the men and women that serve are many times broken" and "their morale is at an all-time low." This is because, he said, "they have to wake up every day and see news reports and comments from representatives in Congress that they're Nazis, white supremacists, that they operate concentration camps, that they knowingly abuse women and children."

The former ICE director went on to say that "those who make those outrageous statements decide that once you decide to carry an ICE badge or a Border Patrol badge, that you lose all sense of humanity."

In reality, Homan continued, "ICE agents and Border Patrol agents are moms and dads, too. They have children," and what they see at work amongst this unprecedented crisis "affects them deeply and emotionally."

Homan went on to ask if members of Congress critical of federal immigration officers had ever thanked one for serving their country or if they've "ever had to console the small child or spouse of a fallen officer."

"I have," Homan said. "Too many times."

During his opening statement, Homan also said, "The biggest problem involves the unwillingness of Congress to address the loopholes that are causing this crisis." He went on to lament that calls for action have "fallen on deaf ears because there's no more interest in fixing this problem" because Congress was more interested in an "open borders agenda" and resisting our president" than securing the border.

"There's no downside on having a secure border; there is no downside on having less illegal immigration; there's no downside on less illegal drugs coming into this country; there's no downside in stopping the bankrolling of criminal cartels in Mexico that smuggle both people and drugs," Homan said. "I don't care if you're a Republican or Democrat, you should want to secure our border."

Later in the hearing, Homan was shouted down by Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) after taking issue with something Connolly said.

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