INTERVIEW – MATT ALBENCE – ICE Deputy Director joined WMAL on Friday morning to discuss the ongoing debates about border security and immigration enforcement.
BIO FOR MATT ALBENCE: Mr. Albence executes oversight of ICE’s day-to-day operations, leading approximately 20,000 employees including over 6,000 officers in Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) and over 6,000 criminal investigators in the Office of Homeland Security Investigations. Mr. Albence manages operational and mission support personnel assigned to more than 400 domestic and international offices and oversees an annual budget of almost $6 billion. Since 2017, Mr. Albence led ERO as EAD in its mission to identify, arrest, and remove aliens who present a danger to national security or are a risk to public safety, as well as those who enter the United States illegally or otherwise undermine the integrity of our immigration laws and our border control efforts. He was appointed EAD in February 2017. In this role, Mr. Albence led an organization of more than 7,600 employees assigned to 24 ERO field offices and 22 overseas locations.
- With a February 15 deadline to avert another government shutdown fast approaching, a 17 member bipartisan committee from the House and Senate continues to work on negotiating a compromise on border security. The lawmakers are hoping to reach a deal by Monday. A key Republican senator involved in the talks says President Trump might be willing to sign a compromise. Late last month, Trump tweeted that Republicans are “wasting their time” trying to secure a deal.
- Congressional negotiators narrow differences to border barriers, detention beds. (Washington Post) — Lawmakers negotiating to end the border wall impasse and prevent another government shutdown narrowed their differences Thursday to two key sticking points — the wall itself and the number of beds the government would fund to detain unauthorized migrants. The two issues moved in tandem, with Democrats offering more money for border barriers in exchange for fewer detention beds. Democrats are trying to limit the Trump administration’s ability to detain border crossers, preferring alternatives such as ankle bracelets. Republican negotiators are in favor of both more barrier funding and expanded detention centers. It’s not yet clear what the deal will contain as far as physical barriers at the border, and Trump has been inconsistent in describing what type of structure would qualify as a wall. Negotiators hope to finalize a deal over the next several days, in time to unveil it officially by Monday and ensure House and Senate passage by the Feb. 15 deadline when government funding will run out. A lapse in funding would precipitate another shutdown, three weeks after the last one ended on its 35th day.
- ‘Savage gang’: MS-13 murders are down. (Washington Post) — Over the past two years, in tweets and speeches, on the campaign trail and in the Oval Office, President Trump has railed against the violent international street gang MS-13. The president called out the “savage gang” again Tuesday night, citing an MS-13 murder earlier this week in his hometown, the New York borough Queens,during his argument for $5.7 billion in border wall funding. The State of the Union speech marked the 161st occasion on which the president has publicly spoken about the gang since taking office, according to a tally by The Washington Post. But even as he warned again and again about the dangers posed by MS-13 members and the need for a wall to keep them out, killings connected to the gang were plummeting in many of the areas where MS-13 has been most active. In the Washington region, where a spate of grisly gang slayings drew the attention of the White House, MS-13 murders have fallen from at least 33 between 2016 and 2017 to seven last year, according to interviews with a dozen law enforcement agencies and prosecutors.
- AOC going after ICE: Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) calls for ICE to be completely defunded. Earlier this week, an illegal alien MS-13 gang member, who had 12 prior arrests, allegedly murdered someone on a subway in Ocasio-Cortez’s district.