(CNSNews.com) - "If the American public wants to know who to blame for family separations, the first people they need to blame is Congress," Thomas Homan, the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told "Fox & Friends" on Friday.
"We went up to the Hill several months ago and told them what the loopholes were about the Flores settlement agreement. We said, you can fix this -- if we can fix the Flores settlement agreement, we can keep the families together in a family facility until they see the judge.
"But they failed to fix it. They don't want to fix it," Homan said, "so we're doing an operation on the border that Congress failed to do."
People who are criticizing ICE or even calling for its abolishment should "educate themselves" before they speak, Homan said.
"They need to educate themselves. I mean this protest yesterday (at the U.S. Capitol), a protest about family separations on the border. ICE doesn't separate families on the border. That's the Border Patrol. We're a different agency. So you need to get your facts straight and inform themselves what's actually happening and understand there's two different agencies with two different missions -- Border Patrol does this, and ICE does this."
Homan said he was not "throwing Border Patrol under the bus."
"I think they're doing what they need to do," he said. "When you prosecute an illegal alien with a child, you're going to be separated. The same thing happens to U.S. citizens all across this country. When you arrest a parent and you put them in jail, many times that child has to go into child protective services if there's no one there to protect them.
"So what these open borders people want -- they want better rules for illegal alien families than we have for U.S. citizen families."
Homan noted in the case of sanctuary cities, where jurisdictions refuse to provide jail cells for illegal aliens, ICE often has to move that alien out of state, separating him or her from their families -- just because the city is "trying to make a political statement. They're actually hurting immigrant communities by making these decisions," he said.
Two U.S. Senators -- Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Kirsten Gillenbrand (D-N.Y.) -- are now joining calls from the far-left to abolish ICE.
Homan, in response, noted that ICE took 5,000 criminal aliens off the Streets in New York "that walked out of (Gillibrand's) sanctuary jails that she supports."
"These people want to make a judgement about ICE. We are enforcing the laws that they enacted," Homan said.
Today is Homan's last day on the job. He said he hates to retire in the middle of a fight, at a time when some liberals are "vilifying" ICE agents who put t heir lives on the line every day.
"I may be retiring," Homan said, "but I'm not leaving this fight...And as a civilian, I can say a lot more than I can as a federal employee," he added.