ICE Director: ‘We Do Not Conduct Sweeps’ Or ‘Raids’

By Gage Cohen | June 29, 2017 | 7:23 PM EDT

Acting ICE Director Tom Homan (Screenshot of C-SPAN video)

( - During Wednesday’s White House press briefing, the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Tom Homan, said that ICE does not conduct sweeps, raids, or roadblocks to remove people who have illegally immigrated into the U.S.

“ICE conducts targeted enforcement operations in compliance with federal law and regulation,” said Homan.  “We do not conduct sweeps, raids, roadblocks -- this is important to know. This is a targeted enforcement operation, which means we look for a specific person at a specific location based on intelligence and criminal investigative work. They’re not raids. They’re not sweeps.”

Homan also made it clear that ICE would be prioritizing illegal immigrants who “are a threat to national security and public safety.” 

“Again, ICE prioritizes those that are a threat to national security and public safety,” said Homan, “but prioritization doesn’t mean others that violated our laws are off the table and should be ignored.”

Homan concluded that while ICE was prioritizing those illegal immigrants who are more of a threat to the country, all who enter illegally break the law.

“ICE is ordered to faithfully execute the nation’s immigration laws. Through a sustained commitment to enforcement, illegal immigration will come down and has come down,” Homan continued. “When people ask us not to arrest those who are not serious criminals I say this: Those who enter our country illegally violated our country’s laws. It’s a crime to enter this country illegally -- 8 U.S.C. 1325, illegal entry into the United States.”

Homan, along with Attorney General of Utah John Huber, spoke at length about new legislation they support, namely “Kate’s Law” and the “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act.”

According to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, both laws if passed “would penalize criminal illegal aliens who break our laws and the jurisdiction that attempt to shield them from justice.”

Kate’s Law, named for Kate Steinle, who was murdered by an illegal immigrant, would increase mandatory minimum sentences for criminal aliens. 

The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act would make states and localities in violation of immigration law ineligible for certain grants from the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security.

“So this pending legislation -- Kate’s Law on one hand and the No Sanctuary for Criminals Act on the other hand -- advance the ball for law enforcement in keeping our communities safe,” said Huber. “The laws, if passed, would give officers and prosecutors more tools to protect the public. Stiffer penalties for reentry offenders make sense. It just does.”

Huber concluded: “We don’t gamble with our public safety. Criminal aliens don’t need encouragement to reside in our beautiful cities. Criminal aliens warrant handcuffs and removal. Law enforcement professionals are very good at what they do, and we should not impede them from their excellent work in keeping us safe.”