Various border security officials were questioned by the Senate Judiciary Committee during a meeting on Tuesday concerning family separation and public safety.
One Senator, John Cornyn (R-Texas), asked what the impacts of abolishing ICE would be to the country’s safety. Matthew Albence, Executive Associate Director for Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) at ICE, did not have a positive response.
“The public safety impact would be huge,” replied Albence. “In addition to immigration enforcement that we do, which as I mentioned previously, we arrested 127,000 individuals with criminal convictions and arrests last year. Our Homeland Security Investigations branch does a significant amount of work, all tremendous work, with regard to drugs and narcotics, child predators, cybercrime.”
Cornyn then questioned who would be impacted the most if ICE was stopped.
“These minority communities are the primary victims now because these individuals are involved in gang activity and other criminal activity and generally they commit those crimes against those in the same communities in which they reside,” Albence responded.
During the hearing, Albence also had to explain why illegal immigrants are accused of breaking the law.
“I’m Confused”: ICE official has to explain to Democrat Senator Mazie Hirono that illegal immigrants break the law. pic.twitter.com/lgM9WhHWco
— Ryan Saavedra ?? (@RealSaavedra) July 31, 2018
However, Albence admitted that immigration laws confuse many and should be reformed.
“Our nation’s immigration laws are extremely complex, and in many cases, outdated and full of loopholes,” said Albence. “This often makes it difficult for people to understand all that ICE does to protect the people of this great country.”