"If you want to seek asylum you go through the port of entry. You do it the legal way."
- Thomas Homan
"So, you are the author of the family separation policy?" Ocasio-Cortez asked.
"I'm not the author of this memo," Homan replied.
"You're not the author, but you signed the memo?" Ocasio-Cortez pressed.
"Yes, a zero tolerance memo," Homan responded.
"So, you provided the official recommendation to Secretary Neilson on families for the United States to pursue family separation?" Ocasio-Cortez asked.
"I gave Secretary Nielson numerous recommendations on how to secure the border and save lives," Homan responded.
"But it says here that you, you gave her numerous options but the recommendation was option three, family separation," Ocasio-Cortez said.
"What I'm saying this is not the only paper where we had given the secretary numerous options to secure the border and save lives," Homan responded.
"And so the recommendation of the many that you recommended, you recommended family separations?" Ocasio-Cortez continued to press as she seemed unable to understand Homan's previous responses.
"I recommended zero tolerance," Homan responded.
"Which includes family separation," Ocasio-Cortez pressed.
"The same as is whatever U.S. citizen parent gets arrested when they're with a child," Homan said.
"Zero tolerance was interpreted as the policy that separated children from their parents," Ocasio-Cortez continued, again not seeming to understand Homan.
"If I get arrested for DUI and I have a young child in the car, I'm gonna be separated," Homan responded. "When I was a police officer in New York and I arrested a father for domestic violence, I separated that father from their family."
"Mr. Homan, with all due respect, legal asylees are not charged with any crime," Ocasio-Cortez said, refusing to acknowledge the majority of people entering the U.S. at the southern border are not legitimate asylum seekers.
"When you're in the country illegally, it's a violation 8 United States Code 13:25," Homan responded.
"Seeking asylum is legal," Ocasio-Cortez responded.
"If you want to seek asylum you go through the port of entry, you do it the legal way," Homan fired back. "The Attorney General of the United States has made that clear."