The Deputy Director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement departed the agency Thursday, according to a news release from the agency.
Matthew T. Albence, who was preceded by Mark Morgan, took over as ICE acting director in July 2019, but like many in the Trump administration, he was never officially confirmed to the position before he announced he was leaving the agency.
Albence and Chad Wolf, acting secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, toured a border wall construction site in the Rio Grande Valley in April 2019, during a marked influx of asylum seekers to the U.S.-Mexico border.
During his time as director, Albence oversaw an agency at the forefront of a political debate regarding the rights of asylum seekers during a wave of arrivals at the U.S.-Mexico border.
At the beginning of July 2019, an investigation began into the social media posts of several U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and U.S. Border Patrol agents who made derogatory posts about migrants and asylum seekers.
Additionally in July, photos of ICE detention facilities leaked showing overcrowding during the height of families arriving to seek asylum.
Albence compared the holding of migrant kids in crowded facilities to summer camp in response to the news migrant children were being held in detention jails away from their parents during the summer of 2018.
Wolf, in a prepared statement, thanked Albence for his decades of “dedicated service” to the country and praised Albence’s leadership during his roughly year-long tenure at the agency.
Previously, Albence served as assistant director for the Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Enforcement Division, where he was responsible for all ERO enforcement programs and initiatives, the release stated.