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Matthew Albence, acting director of ICE announced he was retiring on Friday. Albence’s decision does not appear to be in protest, unlike some of his DHS predecessors who quit after sparring with the White House over immigration policy.
Albence was a fierce defender of the agency and popular among the rank-and-file. He was widely ridiculed in 2018 when he compared family detention facilities to a “summer camp.”
While he supported the president’s agenda publicly, he privately pushed back on ceratin policies such as bussing migrants from the border to “sanctuary cities.” He butted heads with Ken Cuccinelli, the acting deputy secretary of DHS, who he viewed as interfering with his agency. The Washington Post
In other federal immigration news…
According to a new book by investigative journalist Jean Guerrero, conservative activist David Horrowitz played a formative role in shaping White House advisor Stephen Miller’s career and life. They met after the 9/11 attacks when Miller was a teenager living in the Southern California coast and he invited Horrowitz to speak at his HIgh School. Horrowitz has been labeled an anti-Muslim and anti-immigration extremist by the Southern Poverty Law Center. He runs the David Horowitz Freedom Center: A School for Political Warfare. Politico
Commander Jonathan White of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps was responsible for coordinating the emergency response to reunite thousands of children separated from their parents due to the administration’s zero-tolerance policy. His testimony before Congress on the issue in 2018 was in direct contradiction to the White House’s version of events. In a practice run before the congressional hearing, a DHS spokeswoman told him to say “There’s no reason to think, or way to know, that separations were harmful to children” if he was asked if it separation was harmful to children. White pushed back and said that it would be perjury to say that under oath. The Daily Beast
Acting Homeland Security Dep. Secretary Cuccinelli limited a department watchdog from performing oversight on the Office of Intelligence and Analysis. The office made waves last week after it was revealed it had been compiling reports on journalists. Cuccinelli signed off on a move that limited the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties from signing off on the office’s work. The acting undersecretary for intelligence and analysis Brian Murphy was reassigned to a new position following the fallout from those reports. Politico, The Washington Post
The Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the Trump administration may move forward with the border wall in a lawsuit brought by the Sierra Club. The justices voted 5-4 along party lines to reject a request to lift a stay imposed on the injunction last year. Sierra Club has argued that the Trump administration’s transfer of funds from the military to build the wall was unconstitutional. Vox
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