Former acting ICE Director Tom Homan on Wednesday blasted House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi for calling a border wall ineffective and accusing President Trump of “fear mongering” with the illegal immigration issue.
“Every place a wall or barrier has been built, it has resulted in decreased illegal immigration, decreased drug smuggling. One hundred percent of the time, it has proven effective,” Mr. Homan said on Fox News, where he is a contributor.
“Look at the rest of the data on the border, where arrests of MS-13 [gang] this year are up 118 percent, the seizures of guns — for God’s sake — are up almost 200 percent. There’s your data. Look at it. You can see why we need a wall,” he said.
Mr. Homan, a veteran of the Border Patrol agent and investigator for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said Mr. Trump was “doing the right thing” in shutting down the government in a fight with Democrats over funding a wall or barrier on the border with Mexico.
The partial shutdown began Saturday, affecting about 25 percent of the federal government, including the Department of Homeland Security.
Mrs. Pelosi told USA Today that Mr. Trump was using the wall to “fear monger.”
“He talked about terrorists coming in over that particular border, which wasn’t so. He talked about people bringing in diseases and all the rest of that, which wasn’t so,” said Mrs. Pelosi, who is poised to become speaker when Democrats take control of the House next week. “He’s using scare tactics that are not evidence-based, and it’s wrong.”
Mr. Homan said Mrs. Pelosi is “100 percent wrong.”
“Allow me to educate Mrs. Pelosi,” he said. “As far as crime coming across the border, ICE arrested 138,000 criminals last year. These are people who entered the country illegally and committed crimes against the people of this country.”
Last year, ICE arrested illegal immigrants in more than 2,000 homicides cases, more than 11,000 weapon violations and almost 12,000 sexual assaults, Mr. Homan said.
U.S. immigration officials routinely deal with contagious diseases, including tuberculosis, measles and chickenpox, he said.
Mr. Homan recalled the massive effort to treat an illegal immigrant man with a rare strain of tuberculosis of TB.
“We had to work with CDC and Texas Department of Health to find a way to treat this gentleman, so we kept him locked up for months at great taxpayer expense. Imagine if that strain of TB were to get released into the American society,” Mr. Homan said.