Mother Jones magazine has published an article about Tom Homan, acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), "ICE Cold: How a Loyal Obama Bureaucrat Became the Face of Trump's Deportation Force".
It's a thinly veiled hit-piece masquerading as hipster insight, which would perhaps be fine if it were truly a piece of gonzo journalism in which the author, one Noah Lanard, didn't make the pretense of balance or honest reportorial presentation. But he has the audacity to try and pass his article off as a kind of behind-the-scenes-naked-truth exposé, when in fact it's filled with partisan bias and nasty innuendo.
Even the sub-heads that fill his article are telling — such nonsense as "He looks very nasty" being the first in the series. Homan can no more help the way he looks than can Donald Trump or Nancy Pelosi, and those are precisely the kind of attacks that would incite progressives to fury if they passed the lips of other, more conservative types. They are, in fact, the same kind of attacks that James Comey has recently leveled at Trump which have redounded to Comey's own deficit and so sorely diminished his already damaged standing and character.
Lanard suggests that somehow Homan is morally compromised because, while working under the Obama White House, he did his best to meet the priorities and objectives of that administration, and yet was able to transition into the Trump administration and aggressively pursue new policies that didn't so severely hamstring the agents Homan now directs and represents. I find this viewpoint curious. Until he was asked to become the head of ICE, Homan was a career officer, not a political appointee. It is to his great credit that Homan obeyed the Obama administration's flawed dictates and did his best with them, no matter his personal views. That is what career officers are supposed to do. Would Lanard have preferred an Andrew McCabe (Comey's erstwhile deputy) type within ICE? Well, perhaps he would have, provided only of course that Homan was a left-leaning mole in the bureaucracy and not the opposite.
Lanard also interviews the likes of Cecilia Munoz to try and put the nail in Homan's coffin. Munoz was a senior policy advisor for Obama, and architect of many of the failed immigration and border policies that led us to the intractable situation we now face, where nearly half of the individuals apprehended crossing the southern border are women and children. Needless to say, Lanard doesn't go the full nine yards to also reveal Munoz's pre-White House position as second-in-charge at the National Council of La Raza, ("The Race") an organization that has itself at times been called racist for its unabashedly insular views, and which recently changed its name to "UnidosUS", perhaps as a way of changing the window dressing while leaving the interior décor intact. It goes without saying that Munoz would do whatever she could to subtly undermine Homan in whatever way possible.
Lanard also bends the facts, or selectively uses them — even where they have been discredited by the cold light of day — to imply that Homan is enforcing immigration laws in a way that is futile, or born simply of mean spirit. For example, he repeats the "deporter in chief" nonsense to suggest that border and immigration enforcement was actually robust under Obama, even though that myth has been exploded. Obama himself acknowledge that the "ICE deportations" figure was deceptive because, almost certainly at Munoz's direction, ICE was ordered to subsume many of the Border Patrol's apprehensions into its figures in order to artificially inflate them.
Ironically, in the course of the same article, Lanard cites a single study from a Princeton professor that then goes on to undercut the importance of border enforcement by suggesting that it is futile. No doubt it is futile when undertaken in the way that Obama, Munoz, and others in that administration such as Jeh Johnson, the DHS figurehead, insisted. Which leads us back to the horrible fact that, because of the policies put in place under the Obama administration that Homan is now working so hard to reverse, women and minors by the hundreds of thousands have poured across our borders in the past four or five years. One wonders how many were the victims of horrendous abuse and crimes en route, or didn't make it at all.
It's clear that Lanard has little or no idea about the harsh realities of the southern border, where victims are created by the dozen for every minute of the day — and not by ICE or Border Patrol agents who faithfully execute their duties, but by the coyotes and cartel members who smuggle, but also extort, rape, murder, abandon, and abuse their alien victims during the illegal crossings.
As for Homan, I'm sure that the article will sting: he is human, after all, and such things do hurt. But I believe I know him well enough to say that it won't deter him from continuing to do the difficult job he signed on for, which is to put ICE back on track, and to strenuously resist attempts to hobble immigration enforcement so that he can look his agents in the eye and say honestly "I'm doing my best". If he does that, all the rest will sort itself out, and snarky, meaningless hit pieces like Lanard's will end up in the dustbin of history where they belong.