Acting ICE director on whether ‘zero tolerance’ policy is humane: ‘It’s the law’

Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Thomas Homan wouldn’t say President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy for illegal border crossings, which has led to children being separated from their parents, is humane Tuesday, saying only, “I think it’s the law.”

When asked the question by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room” Tuesday, Homan wouldn’t say yes.

“I think, I think it’s the law,” Homan said after a pause.

When pressed, Homan hesitated and said, “I think it’s the law and I’m in law enforcement and I must follow the law.”

When asked about the impact of the zero tolerance policy on the ICE officers who enforce it, Homan again emphasized their legal responsibilities.

“That’s our job” he said. “Our job is to enforce the law. We don’t get to pick and choose what we do. … Every police officer sees sad things, but we still gotta do this job.”

The separation of undocumented immigrant children from their parents has dominated headlines for much of the last few days after images of children in cages were released.

Homan went on to call parents who give their children to smugglers to bring them across the border into the US “inhumane.”

“If you want to blame someone for separating families, blame the parents who choose to break the law,” Homan said.

Homan also initially denied that children are being punished by being placed in detention facilities, but when pressed, he said any punishment is “at the fault of their parents. Their parents are making a clear decision.”