Oct. 7, 2021

Every Town a Border Town – A National Security Risk – with Tom Homan [Ep.91]

Every Town a Border Town – A National Security Risk – with Tom Homan [Ep.91]

America has always been a welcoming nation. We are a melting pot of people from different countries, ethnicities, colors, and creeds who have flocked here for the freedom and opportunity our system of government has offered. In the past, immigrants...

America has always been a welcoming nation. We are a melting pot of people from different countries, ethnicities, colors, and creeds who have flocked here for the freedom and opportunity our system of government has offered. In the past, immigrants were required to prove they would not become dependent on government; that they could work and become productive members of society. Immigrants were welcomed and our nation grew stronger with their presence. Our current open border policies are weakening our nation. People are flocking here by the thousands, and our tax dollars are used to feed, house, and transport immigrants to cities across the nation. Most are not screened for diseases or criminal backgrounds. An open border invites crime, drug and sex trafficking, and allows our enemies to assimilate into society at our expense. This is a national security nightmare. Tom Homan, the former Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), has served under six presidents and has witnessed first-hand the positive and negative effects of various immigration and border security policies. He shares with Linda his deepest fears for our nation, and his recommendations for protecting our borders while tending to the humanitarian needs of citizens and immigrants. 

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Linda: Thank you for joining us today. My guest today is Thomas, or Tom, Homan, the former Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, otherwise known as ICE. Tom ran ICE from January 30th, 2017, until his retirement on June 30th, 2018. In this role, his mission was to promote Homeland security and public safety through criminal and civil enforcement. Previously, he served as executive associate director of ICE enforcement and removal operations. He has devoted nearly 34 years of his life to immigration and law enforcement. He served as a police office in New York, a US border patrol agent, a special agent with a former US immigration and naturalization service, as well as supervisory special agent and deputy assistant director for investigations. Upon the creation of ICE, he was named as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge in Dallas, and later to the Deputy Special Agent in Charge.

In March of 2009, he accepted the position of assistant director for enforcement at ICE Headquarters in Washington, DC, and he was then promoted to Deputy Executive Associate Director. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the Presidential Rank Award for his leadership and accomplishments in immigration enforcement, and the Distinguished Service medal, which he received in June, 2018, in recognition of exceptionally distinguished and transformational service to strengthen Homeland security for the United States of America. He is the author of Defend the Border and Save Lives; Solving our Most Important Humanitarian and Security Crisis. He is a frequent guest on media interviews and is a sought after speaker on immigration issues. We are incredibly honored to have you with the podcast today. Thank you so much for taking time. Welcome.

Tom: Thanks for having me.

Linda: Yeah, well, I appreciate your insight and I really salute you and thank you for your service to our nation. I know from listening to many interviews with you, that you are a Patriot at heart, you love the red, white and blue, you love America, and I know you are working hard to help defend it, even in a non-official role now, and I thank you. I would like to talk to you a little bit about your role in the Trump Administration and how the border policies there have coincided, or the difference between that and what the Biden policies are, and I also want to focus on what's happening right now at the Southern Border and how it affects the security and the economic security and the health security of our citizens. I know that you have been working really hard on all of this and we thank you.

Tom: Well, first of all, under President Trump, he's the one that nominated me as the director of ICE. I was the first director of ICE that actually came up through the ranks. Usually, those jobs are given to political appointees, favors of people helping campaigns, but President Trump's a little different. He put me in charge of ICE, again, first ICE director that actually came up through the ranks. As a director, when I instructed the 20,000 men and women that work there to do something, I never told them to do something I didn't do myself as an agent. I was very familiar with all aspects of the job that I was overseeing. The same with border patrol. He put career officials in charge, which I think was a great thing to do. Rather than put a politician who knows nothing about the agency they're about to take command of, he put people like myself, 35 years, almost 35 years of doing the job.

Under President Trump, he wrote a series of executive actions, but he could have just said one thing and put it in writing and said, "You will now enforce the laws as enacted by Congress," which we have not been allowed to do under the previous eight years under President Obama. He basically said, "You're going to do your job now and you're going to do the job and you're going to enforce the laws that are in statute that were enacted by Congress and signed by the president." And that's what we did. He did a lot of things to secure the border. First thing I'd say is this; whether you like or hate President Trump, no one can argue that illegal immigration was decreased by 80% under this president. That's just a stone cold fact. Whether you like his other policies, I've said many times in interviews, I've worked for six presidents, starting with Ronald Reagan, I respect every president I ever worked for, even those I disagreed with, because they were the elected president of our country.

But let's be clear, no one didn't more to secure our borer than President Trump. He did a lot of things to secure that border. He had agreements with the three Central American countries; El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, on safe repatriations. No president was ever able get those type of agreements. And those agreements were basically saying that if you're leaving Honduras and you're coming to the United States, but you pass through Guatemala, you pass through El Salvador, you pass Mexico, if you are really escaping fear and persecution from your home government, well guess what? When you left your country, you have escaped that fear and persecution. Because asylum is about escaping fear and persecution from your home government because of your race and religion, political affiliation, or membership in a specific ethnic group.

For instance, if you want to claim asylum from the country of Honduras, well, you passed through two other countries, so you should be claiming asylum in the first free country you come to, and that's what the agreement's about. These three countries are going to work together, along with Mexico, to allow people to claim asylum in their country. President Trump really believed, is it really about claiming asylum? Is it really about escaping fear and persecution? Or is it about using loopholes to get to the United States? That's why these agreements made sense. The second thing he did is put Remain in Mexico program, what they call it a Migrant Protection Protocol in place, saying if you reached the borders of the United States and you want to claim asylum, fine, but you're going to wait in Mexico until the hearing happens.

Because based on data, which anybody can look up, you can go to the DOJ website, you can go to DHS website, President Trump's aware of two different data points that I've been unfamiliar with. Number one is that nine out of 10 Central Americans who claim asylum at the border, nine out of 10, never get relief from US courts. They simply don't qualify on the rules of asylum. They're not really escaping fear and persecution from their home government. They're coming here because they want to get a job and have a better life, which I clearly understand, but that's not what asylum is about. Nine out of 10 either don't show up or lose their case. And what happens to that nine out of 10? Well, if you look at the DHS lifecycle report, nine out of 10 lose their case and get ordered removed by the immigration judge. Less than 3% leave as ordered.

President Trump said, "Okay, well if 90% are committing fraud and they never leave, why do we keep releasing them to the United States to take jobs away from Americans or to put more pressure on our social service system? It was a great idea. It was out of box thinking that worked, and Mexico worked with us on this. And we had more assistance and participation of Mexico, under Trump Administration, than any administration I've worked on, so it made sense. And because of these policies and because you let ICE do their job to enforce immigration law in the interior, so even if you were able to sneak in, ICE was looking for you. Because of those things he allowed to happen, illegal immigration went from a 60% decline to an 84% decline, depending on what month you look at. And since I've been doing this 35 years, I've said 100 times, we had the most secure border in my entire career under President Trump.

And with Joe Biden, when he began running for president, he was making all these promises. He was going to end the Remain in Mexico program, he was going to end the agreements, he was going to abolish ICE or stop ICE detention. He's going to offer free medical care to people here illegally. He's going to have a DACA reward, he's going to have amnesty. When you make those types of promises to vulnerable people, they want to come. I wrote an op-ed in Foxnews.com in July of last year, and I said, "If Joe Biden becomes president, we lose the border if he keeps his promises." And we can see all what's happened now.

Linda: Yes, we can.

Tom: [crosstalk 00:09:54] and he kept those promises and signed his [inaudible 00:09:55] and put them in place. What's happening right now at the border is an open borders agenda. It's not mismanagement. It's not incompetence. This is by design. Joe Biden's made promises to the progressive left so he can win the elections. He needed their votes and he's keeping those promises, despite the fact when he was a Senator he voted for a border wall. He funded a border barrier, but become president, he changed his stance and now he stopped building the wall. That worked. The wall works. Every place you see the wall built, you can go to CBP website, every place they put a border barrier, illegal immigration decreased, illegal drug flow decreased. And now we stopped building the wall, the Remain in Mexico program is no longer, even though the Supreme Court just recently ordered or to put it back in place, they just did another appeal, they want to end it, and even though the Supreme Court ordered them to put it back in place, they're slow rolling, they haven't done it and now they're appealing that decision again.

They ended the three agreements with the Central American countries, they took Title 42. Title 42 was the CDC rule that said throughout the pandemic, we're not going to let people enter the United States. He bent that rule and he let family units and unaccompanied children come in. Here's the issue. This Title 42 is about protecting American citizens from the spread of COVID. You can't have it both ways. You can't say, "I want to Title 42, but I'm going to let this big population in," because families and unaccompanied children are the biggest portion of those entering illegally. He basically violated Title 42 himself, then they just went to the court, arguing that they want to keep Title 42. The judge kind of laughed them out of court and said, "Wait a minute, you're arguing with Title 42, but you've been violating it since you became office. You're letting most people be released in the United States anyways."

It's a foolish argument to keep Title 42 when you're violating it right now. Today, you're violating it. This is what's happening. People have given a green light to come to the United States. They know if they can get to the border and claim asylum, they're going to be released in the United States, even though nine out of 10 won't even qualify. They're coming, and I've said many times, I can't blame anybody who wants to come to the greatest country on earth. Especially when you open the door and say, "Come in." You heard him. And they can ask, right now they can say as many times on national TV as they want, that, "Now's not the time to come. Don't come, because you'll be deported," but their actions speak louder than their words. They're deporting very few. Most of them are being released in the United States, even with COVID. The border crisis right now is the worst I've ever seen it in my career. The unprecedented numbers, more unaccompanied children have entered this country illegally this year than any time in history of the United States border patrol.

Linda: That's heartbreaking. It's a humanitarian crisis. It's truly a humanitarian crisis.

Tom: Well, there's more than that, because, because of the humanitarian crisis, over 50% of the border patrol agents who do their national security work on the border, protecting our border, aren't on the border now. They're taking care of families, they're changing diapers, making hospital runs, they're making transportation runs. Half the border patrol is no longer on the line. As a matter of fact, just the other day, I found out through some documents given to me by a whistleblower that there was 224 miles of border unguarded, because most agents were pulling the process people. Right now, the border is very vulnerable, because half the border patrol is on the line that should be on the line. This humanitarian crisis turned into a national health crisis, because of COVID coming across that border, turned into a health crisis, because there's been over 90,000 fentanyl overdoses. DEA says 90% of that fentanyl comes across the Southern border.

When half the border is not protected, that's when the cartels move drugs through. It's made it a humanitarian issue, a public health issue, a public safety issue, because border patrol's already arrested over nearly 9,000 criminals, including 50 aliens that were convicted of homicide. If they've arrested that many, how many didn't they arrest? And that's the third part. There's about 350,000 people that entered this country and didn't get arrested. They're called Got-Aways, and that's based on film, camera traffic, central traffic, foot traffic. Border Patrol has a way to count when a sensor goes off and they can see how many people are coming, they can't respond to it in time, then they'll count, "Okay, those six got away." 350,000, approximately. You can fill the Dallas Cowboy Stadium up four-and-a-half times with that.

How many of them, of that 350,000, how many of them have COVID? How many of them were carrying fentanyl? How many of them could be would-be terrorists? Because the cartels control the Northern border of Mexico, so they know the border and they designed this. They'll send a group of 200 families in one area, knowing that border patrol will rush to that area and and that's when they move their drugs and the bad people come in. Then this is a humanitarian issue, it's a public health issue, it's a public safety issue, and lastly, it's a national security issue. If you're somebody in this world that wants to come and blow something up in this country, it's hard to get a plane ticket. It's hard to get a visa, because all the background checks we do now, after 9-11. If you want to get in the country undetected, the best way is through the Southwest border, where half the border patrol is no longer on the the line. That's what makes this a national security issue.

Linda: Absolutely, and especially as we've watched the tragedy unfold in Afghanistan, and we see the rise of the terrorist nation there, it's just a free for all that they could come right through our border.

Tom: Thousands of terrorists have been released from Afghanistan prisons, whose sole purpose in life is to destroy this country.

Linda: We're giving them an open door.

Tom: Border patrol has already arrested 11, 11, that were on the terrorist screening database. 11. These are people that don't want to get caught, so how many of that 350,000 are on the terrorist watch list? That scares the hell out of me. That should scare the hell out of every American. And I've said many times, I'm not trying to be a fear monger, but we're going to find out someday, and it's not going to be good. We need to secure the border. The president of United States has the constitutional responsibility and duty to secure this nation. We have the right to protect our sovereignty as a nation, but this president and this Congress, run by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, they don't want that to happen. And people ask me all the time, "Why do you think Democrats support open borders? Why do you think they support what's going on right now?" And there's one clear answer: They see these as future Democratic voters.

They see this and they'd only have to vote. Understand, another thing President Biden did is overturned the Trump census rule, where Trump had a rule, illegal aliens can't be counted in the census. They can't be represented. Well, Biden changed that, so the next census, these millions of people coming over will be counted in the census, because they're going to be in sanctuary cities across this country. What's that mean? That means more seats in the house for the Democrats, which leads to an electoral college, which leads to perpetual power. They don't have to vote to, have an effect on who runs this government. I truly believe, with 35 years experience, the only reason you want a lawless border is so you can have perpetual power in Congress.

Linda: And truly overturn the culture and fabric of life, here in America. Really, it's so unsafe with this open border, and I know that one thing that infuriates me, and I know it does you as well, is the fact that tax-paying American citizens foot the bill for all of this. I know I recently heard in say, Del Rio, that some of the tax-paying American citizens who were diagnosed with COVID were not allowed to leave their home, they're quarantined with potential punishment if they leave, but yet there's how many thousand under the bridge in Del Rio? 15,000? And the city is only 35,000 to begin with. And the tax-paying American citizens are being forced to pay this, pay all the bills for this, but then also to live by an entirely different set of rules.

Tom: Well, there's a couple things. First of all, you're right, they want us to mask up. We've even got businesses wanting us to mask up. They've got mask mandates now, vaccination mandates, but border patrol agents are standing on the line, putting their lives on the line every day and they've got over 120 of them that died in the line of duty. We've had, I think, 26 CBP officers that died of COVID, because they're put down on that line. Either you had to take the vaccination or get fired, and they're arresting thousands of people every day that the White House just said don't need to be vaccinated. There's no vaccination mandate for those folks. Talk about dumping on the men and women who are serving in uniform, okay, I got to get vaccinated or I lose my job, but all these people I'm encountering, there's no vaccination required for them and they're breaking the law, coming to the United States. It's just ridiculous.

And as far as taxpayers footing the bill, I've been down to Del Rio now, five times in the last few months. Every time, I've left Del Rio to come back to DC. Every time. Five times. I do it on an airplane with 40 or 50 illegal alien family units that's been released by the federal government, with a plane ticket bought by the US taxpayers. Now, the families, when they hire an alien smuggler to get their relative to Chicago, for instance, they used to have to pay the smuggling organization to get them to Chicago, which means they got to take them all the way through the travel, through Central America and Mexico, into the United States, put them in a safe house, find them transportation to their final destination, now they only got to hire the smuggler to get them to the border.

The US government will get them the rest of the way at taxpayer expense. This is what this has turned into, and the money being spent right now, the one facility they built down in Rio Grande Valley that are housing them temporarily, that's $700 million, just for that one facility. They awarded an $86 million contractor to a company that's putting them in hotel rooms at $370 a night. I've never stayed in hotel room at $370, and I've-

Tom: But this is what the government's paying. The citizens, the taxpayers are paying to put them in a hotel room, three squares a day, for 370 a night. And I went to one in Phoenix, Arizona. Two blocks away from this hotel, where they're giving them three squares a day, a nice room, hot shower, medical attention, there's homeless veterans on the street corner two blocks away that are living in a tent. This is what this country's turned into.

Linda: And that's what breaks my heart too. We're not taking care of our own and we're not taking care of the people that have served to protect our freedom and it is being so abused. In addition to this, you touched a little bit on the cartels and the cost it takes for these families and individuals to get to the border, but often the sexual trafficking, I know I've had a few episodes on this, people are unaware of the amount of human trafficking for labor and sex that goes on, from young children to elderly people, as they pay their debt to get across the border. I'm sure you've seen the full gamut of bad scenarios with that.

Tom: The female sex trafficking and the child trafficking are sky high right now. Because of the border situation, they can get away with it. For instance, some of these family units, under the Trump Administration we did some DNA testing, and at one point, at one sector, as high as 30% of the families claiming to be a family weren't a family. The child wasn't DNA connected to the person claiming to be the father and mother. And we had investigations where cartels were renting children to put them with a single adult, claiming they were family so they'd get released. Then the child gets sent back and re-rented. It is terrible. What do you think that child is going through?

Linda: Oh, it's horrible.

Tom: We know for a fact, Doctors Without Borders did their own study, and this isn't a government, this isn't my numbers. This is Doctors Without Borders, non-partisan organization, they found that 31% of women who get smuggled to the United States get sexually assaulted. We know that children die. We know that border patrol has already saved over 8,000 people, either dying in the desert, left abandoned in the desert, or drowned in the river. They can't save them. They're not there when it happens. We know children are dying. We know 31% women are being raped. We cartels are making millions of dollars a day. We know we got 90,000 fentanyl overdoses already this year, because of fentanyl coming across that border.

Those people who don't like President Trump and say that his policy isn't humane, I offer you one thing; how many women didn't get raped when illegal immigration was down 80%? How many children didn't die when it's down 80%? How many pounds of fentanyl didn't come across the border when it was down 80%? How many Americans did not die fentanyl overdose deaths when fentanyl smuggling was down 80%? President Trump saved many lives. His policy saved many lives. Now the Biden Administration wants to say, "Oh, we're going to be more humane than the Trump Administration." All you got to look at is the video of what's going on in Del Rio under the bridge. You call that humane? You call that humane? Because I've been doing this 35 years. It's far from humane. And when you make the promises President Biden made, the most vulnerable people in the world are going to put their selves in arms of the criminal cartels to be smuggled.

And for the 115,000 unaccompanied children that have been entered into this country and released, their parents chose to separate themselves from their child, put them in hands of a criminal cartel to be smuggled into the United States. And this administration wants to say, "Well, President Trump had family separation. 2,500 children were separated." Well, Biden Administration is responsible for 112,000 separations. And the difference between the United States when we separated family because the parent was being prosecuted, they were put in licensed daycare, not in the arms of a criminal cartel. One other thing I want to mention about the inhumanity of the Biden Administration, of the approximately 112,000 children, they've already admitted they've lost a third of them. They can't find a third of them.

God help us. We're going to find out they were trafficked, they were put into a sexual trade or they were put in some sort of forced labor. They've lost track of 40,000 kids. Don't tell me that your policies are better than Trump policies. We did a much better job, and like I said, we used to do DNA testing. They don't do that. We made sure that family units were family units. For anybody who wants to argue and go toe-to-toe with me that the Biden administration is more humane than the Trump Administration, the facts are certainly proved different.

Linda: Yes, the facts certainly do prove it differently, and we just appreciate so much all the work that you did to secure our border and to make our Homeland more secure and safe, and to really protect the health and wellbeing of all American citizens, as well as the legal immigrants coming in. I know that you and other border patrol agents, and the Homeland security people, especially in the previous administration, were working very, very hard to make sure that everyone was treated humanely, that there were good policies and laws followed, and now that has just been so thrown out the window. An open border, which is just creating so much havoc, not only is it creating heartbreak and security issues now, but like you mentioned, as we look at how this will affect these young people in the future and how it will affect our economy for the future, our businesses for the future, and obviously our political elections for the future as they redraw maps and really change the culture and demographics of America.

And one thing you mentioned too, and then I know we need to close, but I just want to remind people that it is our government money, our taxpayer money, I should say, because the government has no money unless the taxpayers give it to it first, but it is our money, that we work hard for, that is sending these illegal immigrants to cities all across the nation. Every town is a border town now. Every town is a border town. It is not just at the Southern border, and people need to be aware of that. If you could give people three great things that they could do to help with this crisis, to influence elected officials, to provide better security at the border, what would you do? What would you recommend?

Tom: We got to to take the country back. I would say, I don't care if you're a Republican or a Democrat or a Libertarian or whatever, you need to call your Congressman and hold him accountable. They work for you. They're accountable to you. I blew up at Congress last time I testified, because one of the Congress tried to shut me down. She didn't want to hear the truth and I told her, she kept yelling at me to shut up. I reminded her, "You work for me. I'm a taxpayer." They're accountable to us, so call your Congressman. Call your senator and say, "You know what? Enough with the border issue. We had a secure border and now it's not there. Get it back." And they can get it back. All they got to to do is reestablish the Trump policies and you'd fix this in a week, if they're willing to do what needs to be done.

I would say in 2022, we got to take Congress back and get some of these nuts out of there, so people need to get to the voting booths. And I had this too. It's just not your Congressman and Senator, we need to take the country back. People need to be voting for their city council and their mayor and their school board. We need to take this country back to the roots up. What I'm doing, of course I'll go vote like everybody else should, but I'm suing. I'm involved with the State of Texas, I'm involved with the State of Florida, State of Arizona. I've written more affidavits. I never thought in my dreams that I would ever have to sue a President of the United States after I served six of them so honorably, but I've written more affidavits in the last six months than I've written my entire career, suing this current administration for not only ignoring the law, but violating the law.

Right now, we're three and zero, we successfully beat them on the 100-day moratorium. We won that in court. We won the Remain in Mexico in court, even though they're slow rolling the repair of it, we won the ICE priorities in court. Now that's being appealed. Every time we win, of course, the administration appeals. Let's take the Remain in Mexico; we won that. Remain in Mexico works. We all agree the data's clear, that works. When we won that case, what's the first thing the Biden Administration did? They appealed it. They're basically telling the judge, "No, we don't want to control our border. We want to continue to do what we're doing." That's the end game, right? The day I retired from ICE, I wrote emails to all my employees saying, "I may be retiring from the position of director, but I'm never retiring from having your backs."

I will defend the men and the women of the Border Patrol and ICE until the day I day. That's not going to stop. I wore that green uniform. I know what a difficult job it is. I was an ICE agent. I come up through the ranks. People need to understand, one thing I'd like them to do is make sure you vote, raise hell with your congressmen and hold them accountable, and thirdly, if you see an ICE agent agent or border patrol agent or any police officer, walk up to them and shake their hand and thank them for their service to this nation. They don't get enough of that. Law enforcement are under attack from the progressive left. ICE, they call them the Nazis and the race... I had 80 protesters in front of my house on a Sunday morning when I was ICE director. Have at it, it's your constitutional right.

But for the men and women down there in Rio Grande Valley right now, and down in Del Rio, these men and women are working 24/7, they're tired, they've been abandoned by their own secretary. They've been abandoned by the White House, they need the American people to look them in the eye and thank them for doing what they're doing. Now, we've lost a lot of these men. I've buried a lot of border patrol agents in my day. I buried ICE agents, and these are the finest 1% this country has. That's the only thing we got down their, protecting us from all out anarchy. The last thing I would ask your listeners to do is thank the men and women who carry that badge and gun, and for all those who say, "Well, we got some bad..." Yeah, every profession has a bad few, but a bad few don't make the whole institution bad.

These men and women in the Border Patrol, they don't make a lot of money, they wear a Kevlar vest every day, because they have to, they wear a gun every day, they put themselves on the line. While you and I are sleeping at night, they're standing in a dirt trail someplace at 3:00 in the morning, because a sensor went off. Now, is it going to be just an illegal alien looking for a better life in the United States, or is it going to be a heavily armed drug smuggler? They don't know, but they're going to take it on while you an me are sleeping. These are American heroes. I'd like to leave it at that. I hope your viewers recognize the importance of what Border Patrol and ICE does for this country, along with other law enforcement. Give them a thumbs up, give them a that a boy, give them a thank you. They deserve it and they need it.

Linda: That's a really great point, and speaking of the Border Patrol, I heard a number the other day, that the percentage of Border Patrol agents versus, say, the percentage of the police force in New York City is just ridiculously small. We need more people at the border. We have so few border patrol agents to manage the border in comparison to what we have in law enforcement in some of the big cities. We appreciate the law enforcement in the big cities, but the border patrol agents, they need more enforcement and help and bigger numbers. You can encourage your elected officials to give more in the budgets and really support border control. Do you have anything to add to that?

Tom: No, I'm with you. Border Patrol is understaffed. They always have been. They're having a hard time retaining people, because these men and women are getting sick, they're retiring. They're actually getting medically sick. These people they're dealing with, they come across with TB, measles, chickenpox and now COVID. And these men and women have to leave the duty station and go home to their families, take chickenpox home, take lice home, take TB home. These border agents are getting tested for TB all the time. COVID is only the latest disease to come across that border. I've been tested for TB when I was a special agent, because we arrested a bunch, and sure enough, two of them tested positive for TB.

Put that in perspective, when I was ICE director, we had one man we had arrested and he had TB when we arrested him, and it was a strain of TB that was unrecognizable to any of our medical professionals, so we worked very closely with Texas Department of Public Health. We worked with the CDC, trying to figure out how do we treat this person? What sort of cocktail can we... This is something we hadn't seen before. He was in custody for six months until we figured out how to treat him. Now, what if he wasn't arrested? What if he got into the neighborhood? Disease is just one of many things that come across that border.

Let me tell you about the men and women of the Border Patrol; I've seen these... I was one of them. These men and women bring toys from their own kids to these facilities so these children have something to play with. They give their lunches to people, they find out someone hasn't eaten in two days, they'll give them their lunch. These men and women, Border Patrol agents and ICE agents, they're moms and dads, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. They don't hang up their morality hat when they take the oath. This is affecting them, not only physically, but mentally.

They're seeing some of the most terrible things you've ever seen. Me, I've got terrible stories that I'll remember until the day I die, of violence and death, and these men and women, not only do they defend this nation, they're dealing with something that most Americans would never deal with or want to deal with. There's not a lot of Americans willing to strap a gun on their hip, throw on a Kevlar vest and go out in the middle of nowhere by themselves to take on whatever's coming. It's a special breed. The finest 1% this nation has. Yeah, we need more of them. I don't think this Congress will ever give it to them, which is why we got to take it back next year.

Linda: Exactly. And they are American heroes and so are you. Thank you so much for serving your nation so faithfully and thank you for giving time for this interview. If people want to follow what you do, what's the best way for them to follow your work and to get in contact with you?

Tom: You can go to... There's a website. When I wrote my book, they created a website where I deal with a lot of people who contact me for speeches and they get the book or just ask general questions. That's tomhomanspeaks.com. You can go on there and you can find me.

Linda: Okay. That's great. Well-

Tom: Again, it'll be a bit before I get back to them, because I get inundated and I'm real busy right now with what's going on, but you give me an email and I'll get back to you. It may be awhile, but I'll get back to you.

Linda: Oh, well, thank you for that. And thank you for being willing to help educate the American citizens. I actually talked to someone today who had no idea that immigrants are coming in through our border and they're not being tested for COVID, they're not being vaccinated and they're not even really being processed before they get sent off into other areas of the country. They had absolutely no idea. Every time you speak out and every time we can help educate people, it helps to solve the problem and to make things better for citizens and immigrants. Thank you so much.

Tom: Thanks for doing what you're doing. I appreciate you.

Linda: Okay, thank you.