Tom Homan, former director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), in an exclusive interview with The Epoch Times, described the crisis at the United States’ southern border as “the largest homeland security intelligence failure since 9/11,” adding that the problem will only exacerbate with the lifting of Title 42 on May 11.
The ending of Title 42, a COVID-19 pandemic-era policy implemented by the Trump administration allowing officials to quickly expel illegal immigrants, is going to cause an increase in border crossings, Homan said, adding that the Biden administration is already “releasing pretty much everybody as it is.”
“What’s happening to the southern border right now, in my opinion, after doing this for 35 years, is the largest homeland security intelligence failure since 9/11,” Homan said. “This is a huge national security failure.”
A native of West Carthage, New York, Homan served as a police officer in his hometown and became a Border Patrol agent in 1984, before rising to become head of ICE three decades later during the Trump administration.
As head of ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations, Homan received the 2015 Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Service, the country’s highest civil service award. In June 2018, the month that he retired from ICE, Homan received the Distinguished Service Medal from Trump, and in January 2021 was awarded the National Security Medal.
Homan, who served as head of ICE from 2017 to 2018, said that during the Biden administration “we know that known and suspected terrorists have crossed the border and weren’t apprehended.”
“Over 1.4 million known gotaways” have crossed the border illegally since [President Joe] Biden took office, Homan said.
“This is just known gotaways … How many people have been across the border that we don’t know about because they weren’t captured on a drone or a sensor or a camera? So, if we know 1.4 [million gotaways], that number’s probably double or triple.”
Homan added that some illegal immigrants arrested during the Biden administration are from countries that sponsor terrorism.