Matthew Albence, the acting head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has announced his intention to retire after clashing with White House officials over the agency's actions during the coronavirus pandemic, Politico reports.
“I am honored and beyond grateful to have served with the most dedicated men and women in law enforcement,” Albence said in a statement. “Every day, against incredible odds, constant politicization, and misperceptions of the incredibly critical and complex mission they perform, ICE employees carry on with professionalism and integrity.”
A longtime law enforcement officer who previously worked in several Department of Homeland Security posts, Albence was accused by administration officials of placing humanitarian concerns regarding the treatment of immigrants over the opportunity for aggressive action by suspending most of the agency’s enforcement efforts during the outbreak. Albence also reportedly refused to accept several political appointees that the White House wanted to place at the agency back in May.
“ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) will focus enforcement on public safety risks and individuals subject to mandatory detention based on criminal grounds,” ICE wrote on its website in March. “For those individuals who do not fall into those categories, ERO will exercise discretion to delay enforcement actions until after the crisis or utilize alternatives to detention, as appropriate.”
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said following Albence’s announcement that he led the agency “to record-breaking criminal arrests and seizures in furtherance of ICE’s critical national security and public safety missions, and helped restore integrity to this country’s immigration system.”
Wolf added, “I personally want to thank him for his integrity and steadfast commitment – a legacy he will leave behind with the men and women who perform admirably under the most dangerous and complex of circumstances every day.”
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.