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Former ICE Head Slams L.A. Police for Releasing Illegal Immigrants

Former Acting Director of U.S. Immigration And Customs Enforcement (ICE) Tom Homan (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

The former head of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency Tom Homan slammed the Los Angeles police department on Tuesday after an ICE spokesman testified to Congress that L.A. police were releasing as many as 100 illegal immigrants from custody per day.

The L.A. police chief “has taken a political stance,” Homan asserted during an interview on Fox and Friends. “He forgot the oath he’s taken; he stopped being a cop and became a politician.”

During a Monday Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “sanctuary jurisdictions,” ICE official Timothy Robbins stated that the L.A. police department was releasing captured illegal immigrants at a high rate, up to 100 per day, in accordance with a policy implemented by chief Michel Moore.

“Cooperation between ICE and state and local law enforcement agencies is critical to the agency’s efforts to identify and arrest removable aliens, and to protect the nation’s security,” Robbins said. “Unfortunately, we are seeing more jurisdictions that refuse to work with our officers, or directly impede our public safety efforts.”

“Are you saying that local law enforcement, if they knew they had a violent offender in custody, that they would release those persons?” asked Senator Mazie Hirono (D., Hawaii) during the hearing.

“Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying,” Robbins responded.

A 2017 California law signed by former governor Jerry Brown greatly restricts the ability of local law enforcement agencies to work with the ICE to capture illegal immigrants. The legislation in effect turns California into a “sanctuary state.”

However, Homan said during the Tuesday interview that California police generally opposed the legislation.

California is home to roughly 2.5 million illegal immigrants comprising about one tenth of the state’s workforce, according to the Public Policy Institute of California, a non-profit think tank.

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