POLITICS
07/15/2019 20:51 EDT

Ex-ICE Chief Thought About 'Beating' Congressman During Hearing On Immigration

Thomas Homan said he considered assaulting a lawmaker who questioned whether he was racist.

Former Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Thomas Homan said Monday that he considered assaulting a Democratic congressman during an immigration debate last week.

At Friday’s House Oversight Committee hearing, Rep. Jesús García of Illinois slammed Homan over the family separations at the southern border, questioning whether he cared about children of color and their well-being. 

“If you notice, I hesitated a minute before I started yelling? Because I actually think about getting up and throwing that man a beating right there in the middle of the room because when you tell somebody that’s spent their career saving lives that I don’t care about dying children and I’m a racist, that’s where I broke and that’s where I had enough,” Homan told “Fox & Friends” on Monday.

Further defending himself, Homan accused the lawmakers who challenged him of engaging in “political theater” and attempting to “push their narrative and not let me speak.”

At the hearing, García took direct aim at Homan, firing off a series of questions regarding his character.

″Do you have children?” he asked. “How can you possibly allow this to happen under your watch? Do you not care? Is it because these children don’t look like children that are around you? I don’t get it. Have you ever held a deceased child in your arms?”

Responding, a visibly enraged Homan called the remarks “disgusting.”

“What I’ve been trying to do my 34 years serving the nation is to save lives,” he said, referring to his past as a police officer, border patrol agent and investigator with Immigration and Naturalization Services, a predecessor agency.

“So for you to sit there and insult my integrity and my love for my country, and my children ― that’s why this whole thing needs to be fixed. And you’re the member of Congress. Fix it.”

Homan served as acting ICE chief while President Donald Trump’s administration carried out the separations under its “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which was rescinded in June 2018.

As a result of the policy, thousands of families were torn apart. Though reunifications have since occurred, because of the federal government’s lack of a sufficient tracking system, some families remain apart. According to The New York Times, the exact number of separations remains unknown, and it may be nearly two years before the federal government provides that information.

Last month, the Houston Chronicle reported that hundreds of migrant children were still being separated from their families “through often questionable claims of danger” posed by an adult.

A report Saturday from the House Oversight Committee stated that at least 30 children have remained separated from their families for more than a year.