President Donald Trump is considering his former acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Thomas Homan, to head up the Department of Homeland Security after Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is relieved of her duties, Politico reported Tuesday.
> Tapping Homan to run the Department of Homeland Security would almost certainly energize Trump’s base. The tough-talking lawman once recommended charging so-called sanctuary city politicians “with crimes” and has pugnaciously defended even Trump’s most controversial immigration moves, including separating children from their parents at the border.
> “Trump wants John Wayne on the border, and Tom Homan is John Wayne,” said a former Homeland Security official, who cited Homan’s frequent and often fiery appearances on cable news as a part of his résumé that Trump would especially like.
During an appearance on CNN this summer, after his retirement from ICE, Homan defended the Trump administration immigration policy that saw thousands of migrant children separated from their parents.
> “I think it is the law,” Homan told the network. “The parents are making a choice. They’re choosing, they are taking it upon themselves to enter illegally and have the children taken away. So if anybody is to blame here, it is the parents who made a decision to break the law.”
The list of contenders to replace Nielsen includes several individuals alongside Homan:
> In addition to Homan, other potential Nielsen replacements include Kevin McAleenan, the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and David Pekoske, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration. Both have already been confirmed by the Senate.
> The president is also considering Maj. Gen. Vincent Coglianese, who currently runs the Marine Corps Installations Command, according to two people familiar with the process. One of Coglianese’s sons serves as editorial director at the Daily Caller, a conservative outlet known for its favorable news coverage of the Trump administration.