Former Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Thomas Homan put Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal (Wash.) in her place Thursday after a contentious exchange over border detention practices.
During a House Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship hearing on “The Expansion and Troubling Use of ICE Detention,” Homan and Jayapal, the vice chairwoman, got into a shouting match, which started after she brought up reallocating funds to go towards more detention beds.
“I’d like to remind you, under the Obama administration, we did that most of the years he was president. We moved money around DHS — it’s called reprogramming. We did that under the Obama administration, and I don’t remember any hearings on that,” Homan said, reminding her that during the border surge under Obama Congress was quick to give the money needed. “I didn’t like it under the Obama administration either,” she replied.
At another point, Homan explained why there’s such a crisis at the border, placing the blame on Democrats in Congress.
“Look, you want to know why there’s 50,000 people in detention? You want to know why there are a million illegal entries into the United States? You want to know why we have these issues? Because you have failed to secure the border,” Homan said. “You guys failed to work with this president to close the three loopholes we’ve asked for two years to close.” Jayapal interrupted to cut him off because his time was up, but he continued nonetheless.
“I’ve asked you politely to let me go beyond my time, and you let other people go beyond their time, but not to Tom Homan!” he fired back.
The situation escalated from there, with Jayapal demanding that he “respect the chair’s authority.”
When he started to respond, she once again began banging her gavel.
“Mr. Homan!” she yelled.
“You work for me!” he shot back. “I’m a taxpayer. I’m a taxpayer, you work for me.”
Watch the exchange below: