President Donald Trump has nominated Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Thomas Homan to officially lead the agency. Homan has been a vocal proponent of Trump's strict deportation enforcement policies.
On Nov. 14, the White House announced that Homan would be nominated to permanently run ICE. Homan, who has worked in immigration enforcement for 33 years, had been stationed at ICE headquarters in Washington, D.C., since 2009, according to Dallas News.
The Senate will vote to confirm or reject Homan's nomination.
Trump appointed Homan as ICE's acting director in January 2017, when former agency director Sarah Saldana resigned. The Trump administration's announcement that Homan would be nominated to permanently lead ICE came two days before his authority to direct the agency would have expired.
Under the Vacancies Act, acting officials appointed at the beginning of an administration can only maintain their position for up to 300 days. Homan would have been dismissed from ICE on Nov. 16, but his nomination will reset his acting authority for another 300 days, The Washington Times reports.
Homan has called for stricter immigration enforcement. While Saldana and the Obama administration had prioritized the deportations of undocumented immigrants who committed crimes, Homan has stated that anyone who entered the country illegally should be removed.
On June 13, Homan testified before the House Appropriations Committee that he believed every undocumented immigrant should feel vulnerable to deportation.
"If you're in this country illegally and you committed a crime by being in this country, you should be uncomfortable, you should look over your shoulder," Homan said. "You need to be worried. No population is off the table."
On June 16, the ICE acting director doubled down on his rhetoric during an interview.
"If you choose to enter this country illegally, which is a crime, you should be concerned," Homan told ABC News. "You violated a law in this country, and I'll tell you, you can't have it both ways. You can't be a part of this country and not respect its laws."
Saldana has been critical of Homan's enforcement priorities. On Oct. 27, the former ICE director blasted the agency's reported targeting of undocumented parents who bring their children into the U.S. from strife-torn countries in South America.
"Focusing on family members is outrageous, and it is an abuse of prosecutorial discretion ... What did they do to threaten public safety?" Saldana told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Following the announcement of Homan's nomination, GOP Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia took to social media to praise the selection.
"Thomas Homan is a great pick to serve as Director of [ICE]," Goodlatte tweeted. "I urge the Senate to quickly confirm him so that we can continue to work together to ensure our laws are enforced & the American people are kept safe."
Sources: ABC News, Bob Goodlatte/Twitter, Dallas News, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Washington Times (2) / Featured Image: U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Flickr / Embedded Images: U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Flickr, ICE/Wikimedia Commons