Fox News contributor: The Trump administration detaining families indefinitely “isn't that bad”

Tom Homan says that the Flores settlement limiting the time immigrant children can be detained is the worst federal decision in his lifetime and has “done more damage to this country than any federal decision I know of”

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Citation From the August 23 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends

STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): You know Tom Homan, once upon a time he was acting ICE director and he joins us live. He's an expert on all this stuff. And Tom, given what's going on right now, it looks like the federal government is coming up with a new rule they are going to officially announce today, which would allow the federal government to keep family units intact until they are -- they have their asylum cases adjudicated. Rather than after 20 days everybody gets out free, now everybody stays together.

TOM HOMAN (FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR): Exactly. And this isn't new. We did this in FY 2015 under the Obama administration when I built the first family detention center after the first surge of families. We held them for 40, 45 days until they saw a judge; 90% lost their cases, we put them on an airplane and sent them home. And guess what happened? The border numbers went down.

DOOCY: Where did the 20 days come from?

HOMAN: The 20 days, well, Judge Dolly Gee, who issued probably the worst federal decision in my lifetime, because it's done more damage to this country than any federal decision that I know of, said 20 days. Because in the case it takes about 20 days to process people -- not adjudicate, just to process. So, I said -- I was very clear during this whole litigation, I actually filed an affidavit in the litigation. If this is -- if you're going to limit detention before the -- and let them out before they see a judge, you're going to see a surge in family units that you've never seen before. Of course, the other side [said] I was a fearmongerer, I had no evidence of this. And unfortunately I was right. Look what's happened.

KATIE PAVLICH (GUEST CO-HOST): Now you do. Mr. Homan, the push back on this from Democrats has been that Republicans and the Trump administration are now indefinitely holding families, whereas before, the criticism was you are separating families and that was because you can't hold children for more than 20 days and they had to get the adults through the system. So now they are holding families together for more than 20 days. And it seems like they want it both ways. Is this an open-borders policy? I mean, what do they expect?

HOMAN: It is open-borders policy from the Democratic leadership. And there's three narratives that are -- three false narratives. It's not indefinite detention. We've done this before. It takes about 40, 45 days to see a judge. So, it's not indefinite. We're looking at, you know, less than two months.

PAVLICH: You mean they are going to be held until their case is processed?

HOMAN: Exactly. And secondly, some are saying it's terrible detention conditions. They're not going to be detained in the Border Patrol facilities that weren't designed for families. They're going to be detained in ICE residential facilities, facilities that we built specifically for families. Child psychologists, pediatricians, schools, we have to provide schools, very expensive. Recreation. I mean, you know, these are facilities built for families. They're open-air campus.

BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): And you got to build more for this to happen. So, people take a simplistic view and say the administration wants to hold kids forever, and yet they don't look at the fact that even [Sens.] Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham began to work together on legislation that was going to do a Flores fix. So this is almost an insult for those who are trying to solve the problem. The push back on this?

HOMAN: Yes, the president is doing the right thing by this. The president gave Congress over two years to fix this. When I was ICE director, I was up on the Hill numerous times to fix the Flores settlement agreement. We want to keep families together. But we also need to secure our border. So keeping them together to see a judge when they're supposedly escaping fear of persecution and death, to be held in a family residential center, isn't that bad. So, they get their due process, they can see a judge, and plead their case.