Afghan criminals will be released into U.S., former ICE director says
The U.S. government will not deport convicted Afghans to their home countries, the head of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency says.
“We do not have the capability to release people who have been convicted of crimes back into the country where they reside,” Matthew Albence, the head of ICE, told reporters after ICE released 2,000 Afghan detainees from its jails.
Albence said that the U.S. has not deported any Afghan citizens since Donald Trump took office.
“They are not returning to their homeland. They are going straight out of the country,” he said.
In his first speech as head of ICE, Albence said that he has “a responsibility to protect the nation’s borders.” He vowed to “make sure that dangerous and violent criminals who have committed crimes, will not be released into our communities.”
Albence said that ICE is not going to accept “false claims of citizenship” and is going to “review each case very carefully.”
“We do what we do, we work really hard,” he said. “These people committed crimes. They did not comply with the law. They broke our laws. We are going to be proactive in going after them and make sure that we take them off the streets.”
ICE has said that since Trump took office in January, it has deported close to 100 Afghan nationals to their own countries. Albence confirmed that they “did return to their communities and that they complied with the law and ICE took it very seriously.”
But the head of ICE said that the U.S. isn’t taking their return as proof of their good behavior.
“I want to make sure that we do not do that with any other detainees or any other person,” Albence said.
Some critics have said that the U.S. should be treating the Afghan detainees released by ICE more like political prisoners.
Albence said the release is “a success” but said he does not want to lose the reputation for being “tough