Trump’s Former ICE Director To Speak At Anti-Muslim Hate Conference This Week
Former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Thomas Homan is slated to attend the upcoming ACT for America, where the former Trump administration official is listed as the “special dinner gala honoree”, according to The Intercept.
ACT for America has been accused of having ties to white supremacists and is labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an “anti-Muslim hate group”.
> Thomas Homan served as ICE’s acting director under President Donald Trump until June of this year. During a period in which the Trump administration came under intense public scrutiny for its aggressive immigration enforcement tactics, Homan was an unapologetic proponent of controversial policies such as the separation of migrant families at the southern border.
> ACT for America and its founder Brigitte Gabriel have been criticized by civil rights groups for fomenting anti-Muslim hatred and conspiracy theories. Gabriel, a vocal activist on the right, has claimed that U.S. government institutions have been infiltrated by seditious Muslim sleeper agents and that Muslims generally comprise a fifth column within the United States.
The group has worked to promote anti-Muslim legislation at the state level, with what it deems “anti-Sharia” laws, and staged a “March Against Sharia” last year in numerous cities across the United States.
Those rallies were attended and in part organized by members of the neo-Nazi groups Identity Evropa and Vanguard America.
> Gabriel herself has said that “every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim,” and that Muslims cannot be loyal citizens of the United States. Shortly after Trump took office, Gabriel was welcomed at the White House, sharing pictures of herself meeting with administration officials last year.
Homan’s guest appearance at the convention this year, taking place September 4 and 5 in Washington D.C., adds an appearance of validity to the organization’s mission — as did the attendance of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who was presented the group’s “National Security Eagle Award” last year, as well as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has spoken at events and was described by Gabriel as a “steadfast ally” of the organization.
This is not the first time Homan has been accused of fraternizing with a hate group:
> In June, while still acting as the head of ICE, Homan attended an event at the controversial think tank the Center for Immigration Studies. There, Homan lamented, “A lot of people want to attack ICE. I see it every day. They want to call ICE racists, Nazis,” claiming that the organization, in aggressively pursuing immigration enforcement, was simply acting on a mandate presented by Congress. Homan was criticized for his attendance at that June event in a letter by Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., who said Homan was “lending legitimacy to a hate group.”
> In a statement calling for Homan to pull out of the ACT for America conference, Robert McCaw of the Council on American-Islamic Relations cited the legitimizing effect that Homan’s appearance would have. “By appearing at an anti-Muslim hate event,” McCaw said, “Mr. Homan would – because of his past position as head of ICE — send the clear message that bigotry is viewed as acceptable by top government officials in the current administration.”