WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, the top Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), today expressed her concerns to the Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Thomas Homan after he declined to attend a hearing this week focused on several criminal cases involving individuals that had entered the United States illegally.
“ICE is the only agency capable of providing detailed answers and information about these cases, and it’s deeply concerning that they’ve declined to send someone to speak with the victim’s family, law enforcement, and Republican and Democratic members of the committee,” McCaskill said. “Their absence is creating a troubling pattern of Administration officials continually dodging oversight requests from this committee—a pattern that cannot be allowed to continue.”
McCaskill’s office made multiple attempts to contact Director Homan’s office and seek his, and other ICE officials’, availability before issuing a formal invitation on February 22 to attend the March 1 hearing. Homan’s office declined to attend citing “prior existing commitments”, and said that ICE was unable to send a substitute from the agency to participate in the hearing as well. ICE also declined previous requests by McCaskill’s office for information and documents related to Wednesday’s hearing.
“I ask that you reconsider providing testimony to this Committee, or providing a subordinate who can testify to the issues presented…Why did ICE apparently fail to act in these cases? That question is not only extremely relevant to this hearing, but one that only your agency can answer.” McCaskill letter reads.
No representatives from the Department of Homeland Security have publicly appeared before HSGAC this Congress despite multiple requests.
A copy of McCaskill’s letter is available HERE.