Trump’s New Acting ICE Director Compared Child Detention Camps To Summer Camp

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Albence, a policy hardliner, rose quickly through the ranks of ICE to deputy director.

According to Buzzfeed, Matthew Albance, who once compared migrant family detention centers to “summer camp,” is quickly rising through the ranks at Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In a span of 18 months, Albence rose from a management position to overseeing the entire immigration enforcement wing of ICE to being named acting deputy director. This ascension would normally take years.

"The joke was, 'Matt never met an undocumented immigrant that he wouldn’t deport,'" said a former senior ICE official who worked with Albence. "That’s his M.O. If you’re here impermissibly, it’s time for you to go. There’s no need for discretion. What the hell is that for?"

Albence, who is known to be a policy hardliner, will be able to dictate policy and control the agency budget. His rise is an indication that the Trump administration won’t stop using its aggressive tactics.

"I think the big takeaway is that it’s very clear that this administration is all in for full enforcement. If you’re here illegally for any reason, for any length of time, you need to worry," said another former senior ICE official who worked with Albence.

In February 2017, Albence wrote a memo ordering immigration officers to take action whenever they came across an undocumented immigrant. He also insisted that family members who appeared at the border to take custody of unacompannied minors be detained if they were undocumented. Finally, on July 31, he said family detention centers, also known as family residential centers, were “more like a summer camp.”

"With regard to the FRCs," Albence said,"the best way to describe them is more like a summer camp. These individuals have access to 24-7 food and water...There're basketball courts, exercise classes, soccer fields...In fact, many of these individuals the first time they've seen a dentist is when they've come to one of our FRCs."

None of his colleagues were surprised by his words, given his policy stances.

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