Trump changes head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Washington, Jan 31 (IANS) US President Donald Trump replaced the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), hours after sacking acting Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to defend his immigration ban in court.

On Monday night, Trump appointed Thomas Homan as the new acting director of ICE, replacing Daniel Ragsdale, who had headed it since 2013, Fox News reported.

The Department of Homeland Security did not provide any reason for the change.

“I am confident he (Homan) will continue to serve as a strong, effective leader for the men and women of ICE. I look forward to working alongside him to ensure that we enforce our immigration laws in the interior of the US consistent with the national interest,” Secretary John Kelly said.

Homan served as the executive associate director of ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) where he led the department’s efforts to identify, arrest, detain and remove illegal aliens and those who undermine the “integrity of immigration laws and border control efforts”.

Homan has nearly 30 years of immigration enforcement experience.

He has served as a police officer in New York, as a US Border Patrol agent and as a special agent with the former Immigration and Naturalisation Service.

Trump has announced the recruitment of 10,000 new agents for ICE, an agency that now has about 20,000 personnel, 6,000 of whom are dedicated to deportations.

Also on Monday night, Trump dismissed acting Attorney General Yates for telling Justice Department attorneys not to defend the President’s refugee and travel ban for seven Muslim majority countries.

The White House accused her of betrayal “by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the US”.

Yates was replaced by Dana Boente, the federal prosecutor for the Eastern District of Virginia.

–IANS

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