In a broadside on sanctuary cities that harbor criminal illegal immigrants, the acting head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement called them "un-American" and cited the worst: Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, and Philadelphia.

"Sanctuary cities, in my opinion, are un-American," said Thomas D. Homan in an interview with the Washington Examiner.

By harboring criminal illegal immigrants, the jurisdictions are boosting crime, he said.

"In the last year, I've read all these stories of how the crime rate has exploded in Chicago, and the president's trying to help them. We're stepping up our game in Chicago. Is Chicago doing everything that it can to decrease the criminal activity up there? I say no," Homan said.

"I say no because if you're an illegal alien, and you get arrested in the United States for a crime, and you get booked in Cook County, Chicago, my officers aren't allowed in the jail. They don't accept our detainers. They don't share information with us," he said.

Homan said that in denying to detain criminals, sanctuary cities end up putting them back on the street where they "will re-offend" and prompt ICE agents to take the dangerous step of tracking them down.

"Why would Cook County not want my officers, federal law enforcement officers, to go talk to somebody who is illegally in the United States that committed yet another crime against the citizens of this country? It's ludicrous," he said.

But, said the one-time Border Patrol agent, "They're a sanctuary city, they're proud of it."

He also singled out San Francisco and New York, both victimized by violent criminals.

"San Francisco. How soon they forget," he said in a reference to the July 1, 2015, slaying of 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle on city pier 14 by an illegal immigrant.

"Let's talk about New York City, the site of the most horrific terrorist event in this nation's history, and they don't accept our detainers," he said.

"New York City, they're proud of being a sanctuary city," Homan said.

"These jurisdictions, these cities, are choosing to shield people who violated the laws of this country that committed a crime against this country; they're going to shield them. So, what's next? Sanctuary cities for people who don't want to pay their taxes?" he asked.

Homan targeted his words at politicians, noting that police and sheriffs in many sanctuaries want to help ICE.

"The street cops that I talk to want to help. It's the politicians who want to make this a political game. It's not a political game. This is a matter of public safety and life and death we shouldn't be playing politics with this," he said.

Influence of GOP LGBT group rises in Trump era

Long an outcast in their own party, Log Cabin Republicans, the nation's leading center-right LGBT advocacy group, is being welcomed by Team Trump, and Republicans as a result.

And with the bulk of bigger, better financed but liberal LGBT groups being held at arm's length because of their attacks on President Trump and Republicans, Log Cabin has suddenly become a main driver of key gay and transgender civil rights in Washington.

"It really does hold Log Cabin to be that choice for the entire LGBT community," said newly installed Chairman Sarah Longwell. "We're the only ones who are going to be making sure that Republicans get better every day on our issues," she added.

In just the past two months, Log Cabin officials have met with White House, Education Department, Pentagon, and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission officials to discuss civil rights issues, said Gregory T. Angelo, president of the group that turns 40 this year.

Recognizing its new influence, Log Cabin has added several political veterans to its board to expand its reach on Capitol Hill and the administration.

While liberal LGBT groups have been warning of coming a Trump anti-gay crackdown, Log Cabin has seen the opposite from the president, the first Republican ever to mention gay rights at his national nominating convention.

"At best, Trump is a quiet ally," Angelo said. "He's certainly a ‘do no harm' guy."

Clarence Thomas remembers his friends — and clerks

This doesn't happen very often.

A U.S. Supreme Court justice traveled to the Eisenhower Old Executive Office Building beside the White House last week to swear in the new director of one of the most arcane bureaus in the government.

But there was a good reason Justice Clarence Thomas went to the ornate Indian Treaty Room to give the oath to Neomi Rao, the administrator of the Office of Management and Budget's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

She clerked for Thomas in the court, and they hit it off.

"I clerked for Justice Thomas," she told the Washington Examiner. "He is a wonderful man. He's the best," she added.

Insiders said the room was packed, but that Thomas was the "rock star." And unlike other drawn-out affairs, one said it was extremely efficient. Budget boss Mick Mulvaney spoke first, for 45 seconds, followed by the president's top lawyer, Don McGahn, who introduced Thomas, and then Thomas jumped up to give the oath.

"I think her recitation was the longest thing said," said one aide.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at