Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Thomas Homan doesn’t seem to fully understand what California’s new sanctuary state law is all about. But that didn’t stop him from slamming it during an interview with Neil Cavuto of Fox News on Tuesday.
“I think it’s terrible,” said Homan about the California Values Act, which limits the authority of local law enforcement agencies to hold undocumented residents without clear cause. He claimed that rank-and-file police officers are opposed to the new measure and that Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration “didn’t consult them before approving the law. “
Homan must have missed the news that the California Police Chiefs Association had lifted its opposition to the bill, SB 54, in September after it was amended to make clear it did not protect those accused or convicted of serious and violent crimes.
Brown “is knowingly putting law enforcement at risk,” he said. “What they have done is force my officers to arrest dangerous criminals in their homes and in their place of business rather than arresting them in the safety and security of a county jail. It’s ridiculous.”
So what was the example he chose to cite? The horrendous case of 38-year-old Israel Estrada-Margos who was booked into Sonoma County jail on charges of domestic battery in August. ICE sought a detainer on him, but after he was arraigned, the jail had no legal grounds for holding him. He had never before been convicted of a crime. He was released, and two weeks later he allegedly killed his girlfriend.
If ICE had known he was a dangerous criminal, a fact that apparently was lost on the court system, why didn’t Homan seek a warrant to have him held? Cavuto did not ask that question.
For those keeping track, this is the second time in three months that Homan has sought to politicize a tragedy in Sonoma County. During the fires in October, he gave credibility to groundless alt-right claims that the fires were started by a homeless undocumented person in Sonoma and that local officials were trying to cover it up.
Even as the fires were still burning, Homan slammed the Sheriff’s Office, saying it had “left their community vulnerable to dangerous individuals,” a claim that Sheriff Rob Giordano called “misleading and inflammatory.” It leaves one to wonder whether the acting chief really believes this nonsense or he’s just acting.