In a fiery news conference after touring the detention center in Dilley, Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Matthew Albence defended his agency and blasted its many critics, saying ICE is enforcing the laws made by Congress today the same way it was defending them during the previous administration, and he didn't see any of this same 'ugly rhetoric' then, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
"There is a lot of ugly rhetoric that is out there with regard to my agency, and DHS as a whole, and with regard to the people who are enforcing the laws that Congress has passed," Albence said.
He said during his stop in Dilley that he met with ICE employers who just last week endured having their office windows shot out, as they were in the process of rounding up and deporting illegal immigrants who have victimized people in the U.S.
1200 WOAI's Michael Board was among the reporters invited to talk with the ICE Director in Dilley.
Albence specifically decried those who claim that President Trump wants to detain immigrants and children 'indefinitely,' after he urged repeal of the Flores Decision which calls for children to be released within 20 days.
"Today we have about 55 thousand people in ICE detention," he said. "Not one of those people who is in ICE detention is in detention indefinitely. There is no such thing as indefinite detention.
He says individuals who have entered the U.S. legally are held, as the law demands they be held, until their immigration or asylum cases can be heard. He said he knows of no federal agency which is reoutinely being told by political opponents to break the law the way people are telling ICE not to hold immigrants in detention.
And he said he is proud of the way his agency cares for the people in its custody, especially the children.
"I think if you walked around just like I did, you saw children playing, smiling, waving for the cameras, I saw them singing in the classroom, this is a very nurturing environment," he said. "I think for many of these kids, its the first time they've had their own bed."
Albence said people need to get the facts about what ICE is doing, and realize it is following the laws set by Congress. He says statistics have shown that if a person is denied immigration or asylum, the only guarantee that they will be removed is if they are in custody.
"Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but nobody is entitled to their own facts."
"Almost 100% of the time, if the individual is in custody when the removal order is issues, we are able to remove that person," he said. "If they are not in custody, the chances of that removal falls precipitously."
He said if people don't like the laws that are out there, they 'need to go down to Capitol Hill and air their grievances there."