President Trump’s choice to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Matthew Albence, in the past talked down conditions for migrants critics say are inhumane.
Albence, as deputy director of ICE, said in a Capitol Hill hearing last summer that the agency’s detention centers were “more like summer camp.”
His appointment comes after a major shake-up at the Department of Homeland Security this week. The department head Kirstjen Nielsen resigned midweek. Her original designated successor, ICE acting Director Ron Vitiello, saw his nomination pulled when Trump said he wanted to go with someone who would be “tougher” on immigration.
Albence, in constrast, represents a more hard-line stance for the Trump administration, ordering in a memo written in 2017 that immigration officers should act against all undocumented immigrants — not just ones that had committed additional crimes.
“I think he is what the administration is looking for,” Claude Arnold, a former special agent at ICE, told BuzzFeed News.