Jeff Sessions’ man in Sac
Sheriff Scott Jones, ICE king Thomas Homan, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions make one happy family
When Sheriff Scott Jones invited Thomas Homan, acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), to Sacramento for a public forum last spring, the sheriff said he meant to allay people’s fears. Homan proceeded to scare the crap out of everyone in attendance.
It was the first and only such event for Homan, who pushed the idea that his agency was mainly interested in criminals, not law-abiding undocumented immigrants. Most of the crowd in attendance refused to buy that. Facing their anger, Homan vowed to enforce the law, in a just-shy-of belligerent tone.
Homan came to town just one day after lawmakers in Sacramento decried a call from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to strip so-called sanctuary cities of federal funds. Jones, a Trump loyalist whose rhetoric on illegal immigrants is not as heated as the president’s, had recently stated strong opposition to a bill in the state Senate seeking to limit contact between ICE and local law enforcement.
As this goes to press, Sessions himself is on his way to Sacramento to make a “major sanctuary jurisdiction announcement.” The visit comes one week after ICE raids rounded up 150 people in Northern California, and 10 days after Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf warned residents about the sweep, saying it was her “duty and moral obligation.”
This is a showdown.
We can’t do much at the moment about Homan or Sessions, but we have an opportunity to replace Scott Jones with a law-enforcement pro who is way less politically divisive. See Raheem F. Hosseini’s article about Jones and Milo Fitch, the man who has decided to challenge him, on page 8.