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Former ICE chief Thomas Homan and Democrats in fiery hearing



Former Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting director Thomas Homan and Democratic lawmakers traded barbs during a House Oversight Committee hearing on Wednesday, a scene that played out similarly in a previous hearing in July.

Homan, who served in the Obama administration and was retired for nearly a year before Trump named him acting director of ICE in June, was on Capitol Hill to explain the decision to end medical deferred action for seriously ill children.

Under the policy, critically ill undocumented immigrants would be allowed to stay in the US for medical treatment. Since the revocation, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service has issued letters denying immigrants of deferred action status in a case-by-case review.

“Mr. Homan, as a fellow American, I just want you to know that your contribution as acting director of ICE under this administration will always be remembered as one that was very ruthless and an inhumane treatment of asylum seekers,” Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib said during her allotted time in the hearing.

“I will continue always … that I am deeply troubled by your opening statement and continued assault on innocent lives,” she added.

“Can I respond to that?” Homan asked the Ocasio-Cortez, who was leading the hearing at the time.

“No, we’re moving on,” Ocasio-Cortez replied.

“No,” Tlaib answered.

“How do I not respond to that? This is about transparency or not,” Homan asked.

Read more: Striking photos show children huddling together after their parents were arrested in an ICE raid in Mississippi

USCIS Field Operations associate director Daniel Renaud said there were 791 medical deferred action requests when the policy changed on August 7. Nearly a month later, the organization said it would re-investigate the requests that were pending in early August.

Renaud cited pending litigation and declined to comment on why the policy was revoked and by whom it had originated from, prompting Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to suggest a subpoena.

Homan, a Fox News contributor, later appeared on a Fox Nation show and railed against Democratic lawmakers for his treatment during the hearing.

“I wish I would have let her know, this hearing is a joke,” Homan said in reference to Ocasio-Cortez. “It’s a circus, you’re the head clown.”

Homan’s congressional testimonies in the past have also been marked with heated exchanges.

“This is out of control,” Homan said in a separate hearing in July, after an intense line of questioning about undocumented immigrant family separations from Democrats.

“What I’ve been trying to do my 34 years serving my nation is to save lives,” he said, “so for you to sit there and insult my integrity and my love of my country and for children, that’s why this whole thing needs to be fixed.”

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