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ICE Chief Says Illegal Immigrant Parents Are ‘Responsible’ For Child Separation



Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Matthew Albence defended his agency’s recent illegal immigration raid in Mississippi and argued parents are to blame if they are separated from their children.

“We conduct our operations with professionalism, with compassion and with humanity, and we tried our best to minimize the impact on the innocent people of this situation,” Albence said during an NBC interview that aired Tuesday evening. “However, we have to enforce the law. Every law [enforcement agency] enforces the law against individuals who have broken it.”

Albence’s comments regarded a record-breaking ICE operation that went down earlier in the month. ICE agents raided seven food processing centers across the state of Mississippi on Aug. 7 and arrested 680 people on suspicion of living and working in the U.S. illegally. The number of apprehensions marked ICE’s largest single-state raid in history.


However, the agency has since received significant blowback for the massive operation. A number of protests popped up across the U.S. and members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus are asking for more information.

Albence reacted during the interview to a viral video of a crying young girl whose father had been apprehended during the raids.

“Some of the most difficult things that we have to do in our job is to enforce the laws, involve the separation of children,” the ICE chief said. “The parents or the individuals that are breaking the law are ultimately the ones that are responsible for placing their children in this situation.”

Nearly every chief within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has publicly defended the Mississippi raid. Out of the 680 people who authorities apprehended, over 200 carried criminal records, according to DHS Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan. Nearly half of the those arrested were released on humanitarian grounds.

Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan said the crying girl was immediately returned to her mother at home.

A version of this story appears on the Daily Caller website.

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  1. Bay0Wulf

    August 14, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    The Left … the Democrats pull that “what about the kids?” card regardless of where, when or how Illegals are stopped, caught or arrested.
    ICE … Thank You Very Much.
    Please Continue these actions everywhere in the USA.

  2. Evangeline

    August 14, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    You are spot on, sir. Put the blame where it lies – on the parents!

  3. Nell

    August 14, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    The Law has been on the books for many years. We finally have a real American President who loves this Country enough to Obey our laws. If the left doesn’t think they are good laws, then why did they vote for them in the first place??? God bless President Trump and our beautiful Country.

  4. Diana

    August 14, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    Yes agree absolutely and their government as well send back to their own governments let them take care of them and they find the parents or guardian not us ship right back within 24 hour bus them out of here

  5. Jamie

    August 15, 2019 at 3:02 pm

    I’m going to ask my neighbor if I can borrow his kid so I can rob a bank and get away with it. They wouldn’t want to send me to jail and separate me from my child now, would they?

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