Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) acting Director Matthew Albence is retiring from his position after serving in it for just over a year.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in which ICE is housed, disclosed Albence’s retirement plans on Friday, after his departure was first reported by the Washington Examiner.
Albence is a longtime career official who has served in the U.S. government for nearly three decades. He plans to leave the position by Labor Day, according to the Examiner.
The agency’s stated mission is to protect the United States from cross-border crime and illegal immigration. President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump campaign cancels ad buys to review messaging strategy: report Nunes declines to answer if he received information from Ukraine lawmaker meant to damage Biden Poll: Plurality of ‘Gen Z’ voters say they see more political ads from Trump than Biden MORE has made cracking down on immigration a central focus of his administration and his campaigns for president.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad WolfChad WolfDHS compiled intelligence reports on journalists reporting on protests in Portland: report Trump: Feds won’t leave Portland until governor clamps down on protesters Oregon governor says some federal officers are leaving Portland MORE thanked Albence for his service in a statement issued Friday.
“As the senior law enforcement official for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, he successfully led ICE 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 said.
“He has been a tireless advocate for the more than 21,000 dedicated professionals of ICE and a critical member of the DHS leadership team,” he continued.
Albence headed ICE more than once as DHS leadership shifted in 2019 following the departure of President Trump’s second Homeland Security secretary, Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenTrump’s fight with city leaders escalates Neo-Nazi pleads guilty to ‘swatting’ Black church, Cabinet official, journalists The Seila Law case: Liberty and political firing MORE. Albence was selected to lead ICE in April 2019 after the White House abruptly pulled the nomination of Ron Vitiello, the agency’s acting director at the time. Trump told reporters then that he wanted to go in a “tougher direction.”
Mark Morgan later became acting ICE director for a short period of time, but Albence assumed the position in June 2019 when Morgan moved over to lead Customs and Border Protection within the department, a post in which he continues to serve.
During his service, Albence echoed some of Trump’s hard-line rhetoric on immigration. He sharply criticized “sanctuary cities” and stoke controversy in 2018 when he compared immigrant family detention centers to summer camp.