Former acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Tom Homan called out Democrats for one-sided criticisms of the care given to migrants in ICE detention facilities.
In 2018, two young children died after being detained for crossing the border illegally. Both children were believed to be sick prior to entering the country. Border Patrol agents attempted to get both children medical treatment from a doctor, but they were unable to recover from their illnesses.
The tragic deaths broke the hearts of many Americans and prompted some to criticize the agency’s treatment of migrants in U.S. detention facilities.
Homan explained to “Fox & Friends” that while the deaths are tragedies, ICE saves many lives and rarely receives acknowledgment for the work it does to help migrants who arrive in the U.S. without prior medical care.
Watch the video below:
“Two children died in Border Patrol custody, and let’s be honest, it’s a terrible tragedy, but you have to blame the parents for dragging their children a thousand miles through the desert. The Border Patrol agents did everything they could to save these children. The left doesn’t talk about the 4,000 people that Border Patrol saved that were in dire straights when they were found in the desert. They don’t talk about that.”
Homan noted that in his nine years working in ICE headquarters, there were between nine and 12 deaths of migrants per year while in custody, a rate that is lower than some U.S. state prisons.
“We have 350,000 people from third-world countries — many who have never seen a doctor — coming into our custody, so they’re in bad shape,” Homan explained.
As IJR previously reported, at least 2,000 migrants were given medical treatment in just December 2018.
Homan also compared the average number of deaths in ICE custody to the number of deaths while in custody in the state of New York in response to anti-ICE statements made by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
“AOC, she likes to yell about people dying in ICE custody. Her own state has three times as many deaths in custody — and they deal with 90,000 people — as ICE does,” Homan said.
While it isn’t clear what Homan’s source is for the exact number he is referring to regarding deaths in New York prisons, there are several reports that show inadequate medical care led to people dying prematurely in state prisons over the past five years.
Homan noted that the number of deaths in ICE custody is “sad,” but he maintained that ICE takes care of migrants as well or better than U.S. prisons take care of citizens behind bars.