If there is one book about our broken immigration system – and the solutions necessary to fix it – published this year that is a must-read, Tom Homan’s Defend The Border & Save Lives: Solving Our Most Important Humanitarian and Security Crisis would be it.
Homan has been enforcing our country’s immigration laws for 34 years, worked for six presidents, and served as President Trump’s director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement from January 2017 to June 2018. He was also the first ICE director to come up through the ranks. As such, he is uniquely qualified to weigh in on the immigration debate.
Immigration enforcement is often personal for Homan, who began serving on the Border Patrol during the 1980s. Having grown up in West Carthage, a small town in upstate New York – a safe and tight-knit community where people helped one another and crime was petty and infrequent – he wants everyone to be able to experience what it means to live in a safe community. Sadly, illegal migration, insecure borders, and reckless sanctuary policies have made that dream less attainable for many, including American citizens, legal immigrants, and even illegal migrants themselves.
The cheerleaders for open borders and illegal migration usually attempt to claim the moral high ground, depicting themselves as the virtuous defenders of compassion and tarring their critics as supposedly cruel and heartless. Given his experiences, Homan will have none of it, and exposes the left-wingers who chant “abolish ICE” and “no one is illegal” as virtue-signaling hypocrites.
The reason is that, as the former ICE director demonstrates, illegal migration funds ruthless Mexican cartels at the border and brutal Central American gangs – MS-13 in particular – in the U.S. interior, which abuse, terrorize, rape, torture, and even kill migrants. American citizens and legal immigrants, it goes without saying, also fall victim to crimes committed by illegal aliens, crimes that could have been prevented with proper enforcement.
He recalls, with great emotion and heart-break, the May 2003 incident in Victoria, Texas, in which 19 illegal aliens being smuggled into the country in a tractor trailer perished of dehydration in 173-degree heat. The victims included a five-year-old boy. Homan, whose son was also five at the time, still tears up when thinking of what happened that day. “Don’t let anyone tell you that illegal immigration is a victimless crime,” he writes. “Our crisis on the border is actually hundreds of crises and crimes—every single day.”
The former ICE director also challenges those who defend sanctuary policies as compassionate to rethink their stance. Homan reminds us that these foolish policies not only flout the rule of law, but primarily protect illegal alien criminals, who are released back into the community to prey on local residents. And many of their victims are other illegal aliens. In fact, most “collateral arrests” (arrests of illegal aliens incidentally discovered when ICE was targeting a specific alien criminal) paradoxically happen in sanctuary jurisdictions because “we are forced into the neighborhoods rather than operating within a jail.”
The solutions to the immigration problems are not a mystery. Homan offers many, including closing asylum loopholes, finishing border wall construction, defunding sanctuary jurisdictions, criminalizing visa overstays, mandatory E-Verify, and merit-based immigration. The main problem is that, except for President Trump and a minority of political leaders, the politicians lack the will to implement such necessary reforms – either because they lack a spine, or because they (and their donors) benefit from perpetuating the mess. Even so, Homan emphasizes, Americans can and should continue to speak out and fight for change.
So, if you have some free time this holiday season, consider reading Tom Homan’s Defend The Border & Save Lives. If you tend to agree with pro-enforcement, pro-border-security positions, the book will arm you with valuable knowledge and inspire you to get involved. If you are skeptical, it might just change your mind.