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The Fascist Who Leads a Fascist Agency

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It’s disturbing but not surprising that the head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a federal agency dedicated to ethnic cleansing and filled with fascist agents is led by a fascist.

Last summer, Thomas Homan, the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal agency responsible for arresting and deporting undocumented immigrants, received high praise from the President. “Somebody said the other day, they saw him on television . . . ‘He looks very nasty, he looks very mean,’ ” Donald Trump said while delivering a speech on immigration in Suffolk County, New York. “That’s what I’m looking for!”

This week, Homan made headlines by summoning that nastiness on national television, going further than any other Administration official to date in escalating the dispute between the federal government and so-called sanctuary jurisdictions. Appearing on Fox News on Tuesday, Homan attacked Jerry Brown, the governor of California, who recently signed legislation declaring his state a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants. “For these sanctuary cities that knowingly shield and harbor an illegal alien, that is, in my opinion, a violation of 8 U.S.C. 1324, an alien-smuggling statute,” Homan said. “We’ve got to take [sanctuary cities] to court, and we’ve got to start charging some of these politicians with crimes.”

Sanctuary jurisdictions—cities, counties, and, now in California’s case, even entire states—are places where law-enforcement agencies minimize their coöperation with federal immigration enforcement. (Many do not honor ICE requests to “hold” arrested people in jails without charges while immigration checks can be performed.) Despite the fact that there’s no demonstrable connection between sanctuary policies and increased crime, sanctuary cities have been a favorite Trump talking point since his Presidential campaign. He has repeatedly invoked the tragic death of Kate Steinle, a thirty-two-year-old American citizen who, in 2015, was killed in San Francisco—a sanctuary city—by a stray bullet fired by an undocumented immigrant. The shooter, a forty-five-year-old Mexican man, had been deported from the country five times, and had been arrested and released from a county jail not long before the shooting. Last month, after a jury found that the shooting had been an accident and acquitted the man of murder and manslaughter, Trump called the verdict “disgraceful” and cited it as further reason for the U.S. to build a wall along the southern border.

The Trump Administration has tried, from the start, to punish sanctuary cities by withholding federal funding and increasing ICE activity in them. Yet even Jeff Sessions, the Attorney General and the Administration’s most vocal opponent of sanctuary policies, has stopped well short of calling for the prosecution of elected officials. Homan is now eagerly advocating that step. “This isn’t the America I grew up in,” he said during his Fox News interview. “More citizens are going to die because of these policies. . . . And these politicians can’t make these decisions and be held unaccountable for people dying.”

Homan is actually a career immigration agent who didn’t really have a reputation for extremism before the Trump years. In fact, he was criticized by other extremist forces within ICE for being too soft on immigration. But fascism opens up opportunities for people who embrace it and Homan has done so with open arms. This is why fascism is so scary. It gives ambitious people a path toward power if they can be more cruel and authoritarian than others. Trump will reward Homan as one of “his guys.” This is how enforcement agencies become the shock forces of dictatorship. Scary times.

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