Border agency to change leader at the end of the month
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency is the branch of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) responsible for protecting the borders and regulating some immigration processes in the US.
ICE is also in charge of overseeing immigration detention centers around the country. These centers have the responsibility to house immigrants, who are detained trying to cross the borders without legal documentation, while their entry applications are resolved or until a deportation process is carried out.
In addition to protecting the borders, ICE is also tasked with detaining undocumented immigrants around the country. This task has been substantially reinforced with the Trump administration.
Currently, ICE’s main representative is Matthew Albence, who has held this position since 2019. In fact, during Donald Trump’s term (which started in 2017), this is the fourth change in the position of Chief of ICE.
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Albence announces his resignation
On Friday, July 31, the current chief of ICE announced that he will leave the office at the end of August.
This news generated a lot of confusion in the US, mainly because the presidential elections will take place in November 2020 and the government has not yet announced any replacement for that position.
This is one of the most important positions for the immigration sector and due to the fact that President Trump wants to be reelected, the person in charge of ICE will be one of the main representatives of his campaign.
Albence stated that he had planned to leave office for a while, but that the unexpected arrival of the global Coronavirus pandemic delayed his plans.
In fact, he declared: “This was an exceptionally hard decision to make, a decision prolonged due to the uncertainty of a global pandemic and the essential role ICE continues to play in our nation’s response”.
The ICE controversies
The ICE chief did not state the reason for his resignation, however, during the current juncture, ICE has been embroiled in multiple controversies simultaneously:
- Immigration detention centers are overcrowded and do not have the necessary hygiene protocols to protect the health of detainees.
Thus, the massive outbreak of Coronavirus in these centers has unleashed a gigantic social controversy.
- Family separation has increased considerably because immigrant minors usually go to other centers, belonging to another branch of DHS called the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).
Thus, hundreds of immigrant families have been separated with the help of ICE during the last couple of years.
- One of the most outrageous news regarding ICE recently came to light. ICE is taking immigrant minors to hotels and then deporting them in the midst of a health crisis without giving them the opportunity to appeal their cases.
However, ICE has tried to implement new protocols to protect the health of both federal employees and detained immigrants.
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