- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The head of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement teared up at a White House press briefing Wednesday describing how he found a dead 5-year-old boy in the back of a tractor-trailer smuggling illegal immigrants — one of the often overlooked victims of lax immigration laws, he said.

The little boy who died of suffocation in the back of the truck while laying in his father’s arms could have been spared under pending House bills that crack down on illegal immigrants criminals and sanctuary cities that let them go, acting ICE Director Thomas D. Homan told reporters at the White House.

“How do you think that 5-year-old felt his last 10 minutes of his life looking at his father that couldn’t help him, or his father looking at his child that’s dying in his arms [and] can’t help him?” he said, fighting back tears. “These organizations are callous.”

“The people that move these immigrants that come here for a better life are the same ones that move criminal aliens,” he said. “They smuggle weapons, they smuggle dope, and they can smuggle people that can come to this country to do us harm.”

Mr. Homan and U.S. Attorney for Utah John W. Huber appeared before the White House press corps to help make the case for the House bills that have strong backing by President Trump.

Pressed by reporters about how enforcing immigration laws was “cold” and could break up families or spread fear through immigrant communities, Mr. Homan defended ICE’s mission.

“People think I’m standing up here, and I’m the devil. Let me make something clear: Why am I so strong about this? I’ve been doing 33 years,” he said. “If you saw what I saw the last 33 years, I wouldn’t get half the bad media that we get.”

He described some of the horrors associated with illegal immigrant trafficking.

“People weren’t with me when I found dead aliens on a trail that were abandoned by smugglers. People were not with me when I was in Phoenix, Arizona, seeing these people being held hostage and their smuggling rates being doubled; the families couldn’t pay them so women were raped, children were molested, or the smuggled alien was killed at the hands of these organizations,” he said.

He recalled the dead 5-year-old boy, one of 19 people who died in the back of a tractor-trailer in Victoria, Texas.

“The more we endorse the non-enforcement of immigration laws, we bankroll these organizations,” Mr. Homan said.


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