Matt Albence, who just got tapped to lead ICE, is a perfect fit for the Trump administration's ceaseless attempts to hurt immigrants.
Trump has found his new head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). It's Matthew Albence, currently the executive associate director of the agency and the person that once called detention facilities for children "summer camps."
He'll fit right in with Trump's goal of being even more vile about immigration and the southern border.
Albence's nomination comes on the heels of former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen being forced out and Trump abruptly yanking the nomination of Ron Vitiello, who he had previously tapped to lead ICE. Vitiello fell out of favor when Trump decided he wanted to go in a "tougher direction" at the behest of Stephen Miller.
Albence, with his belief that locking kids into metal cages is just like sending them to a sleepaway camp, will likely provide that tougher direction. In 2017, as head of the unit in charge of deportations at ICE, he ordered his officers to take immigration enforcement actions against all undocumented immigrants, not just those with criminal histories. Arrests spiked, hitting an average of 108 undocumented immigrants with no criminal record per day, in spite of the fact that being an undocumented immigrant isn't a crime.
An anonymous ICE official explained that Albence is "definitely enforcement minded" and would be "very willing to follow through on implementation." That, regrettably, sounds like someone who is very willing to do whatever Trump and Stephen Miller tell him to do.
That same official also praised Albence's "toughness," saying: "It's hard to imagine what's tougher than what Nielsen and Vitiello were doing, but assuming there is such a thing, Matt is certainly up to the task."
At root, though, Trump doesn't actually want anyone tough in a high-level role at ICE or DHS. Sure, he wants someone cruel and unyielding, but he doesn't want anyone tough enough to stand up to his callous plans. He needs a yes man with a vicious streak. Albence sounds like the perfect choice.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.