ICE Acting Director Matthew Albence doesn't want to talk to the children harmed by raids, but he definitely wants to blame their parents.
Department of Homeland Security officials really have no remorse for their shameful actions in separating children from their parents, be that at the border or via the recent massive ICE workplace raid.
The latest to weigh in is Acting Director of ICE Matthew Albence. On Tuesday, NBC aired an interview with Albence. NBC's Gabe Gutierrez showed Albence a video of a crying girl whose father was swept up in ICE's raid on Mississippi poultry plants.
Rather than being moved, Albence blamed the girl's father: "The parents or the individuals that are breaking the law are ultimately the ones that are responsible for placing their children in this situation."
Worse, this isn't something Albence said in a vacuum. Instead, it was Albence's response to being asked by Gutierrez what he would say to the crying child. Albence declared he wouldn't speak to the crying child at all, but would instead "speak to the parents and I would speak to the community at large." He also declared that ICE conducts its operations with "compassion and with humanity."
There's just no way that leaving hundreds of children without parents, be that thanks to workplace raids or because of border separations, counts as behaving "compassion and humility."
Albence's callousness is astonishing but hardly unprecedented. Over the weekend, Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan told Chuck Todd the raids had been handled with "sensitivity." Mark Morgan, the acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), told Jake Tapper that a video of a girl sobbing for her parents was "done on purpose."
Late in the day on Tuesday, Albence did finally address the question many have asked: Why aren't the business owners who employ undocumented immigrants being arrested? In a statement on Twitter, Albence said that ICE does arrest employers and levy civil fines. Albence bragged of 190 individuals being arrested in 2017 but neglected to mention that only 11 of those individuals have been prosecuted. And only 3 of those 11 ever served prison time.
It doesn't seem that ICE was prepared for the backlash over the Mississippi raid, nor were they prepared to defend the fact that they're happy to arrest hardworking parents while leaving rich corporations alone. But the pressure isn't going to stop anytime soon.
Published with permission of the American Independent.