A holdover from President Barack Obama's administration, Thomas D. Homan, was nominated by President Trump on Tuesday to serve as an assistant secretary for the Department of Homeland Security and permanent director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
In January, Trump demoted ICE director Daniel Ragsdale and nominated Homan to oversee the DHS agency tasked with carrying out interior enforcement operations, including the deportation of illegal immigrants. At the time, Homan was executive associate director of ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations.
Homan has worked in various capacities at DHS, or in agencies that would become part of DHS, for more than three decades, but may have had to prove himself to Trump before being given an official job in the Trump administration.
As a candidate, Trump promised to deport criminal illegal immigrants on his first day in office, and Homan's work is evidence the administration has made that focus a priority. But during the administration's first 100 days, more than 41,000 illegal immigrants were arrested, under Homan's command of ICE.
Homan has taken on Trump's tone on illegal immigration. In June, he told the estimated 11 million people in the U.S. illegally to "look over your shoulder" because he would not ignore some immigration policies as Obama or former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson had ordered.
Homan is also opposed to Obama's pro-sanctuary city stance and has demanded all jurisdictions cooperate with ICE requests to detain illegal immigrants who have been picked up by state and local law enforcement for non-immigration-related crimes.
In June 2016, Homan testified that deportation numbers were not down because there was no one to deport, but because of the Obama administration's opposition to carrying them out.
As of this past July, Homan said the demand for criminal illegal immigrants in local jails has increased 80 percent.
Numbers like these prompted House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte to praise the promotion of Homan.
"Tom is the perfect candidate to lead U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. ... As acting director, Tom has steered ICE back to its core mission of enforcing our immigration laws and keeping our communities safe," Goodlatte said in a statement Tuesday. "Through his leadership, ICE has removed thousands of criminal aliens from our streets, taken effective action to combat MS-13 and other transnational gang violence, and has given victims of illegal immigrant crime a voice in their government."
Homan has worked as a Border Patrol agent, special agent with the former U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, and as a New York police officer, among other jobs.