Following President Trump’s criticisms of Chicago’s sanctuary city policy, acting ICE Director Matthew Albence backed the president on Tuesday, saying that immigration is, “unfortunately,” an issue where politics is continually being placed over public safety.
“Hopefully, it will take the politicians that run that city to wake up and realize that this is a tremendous public safety risk, that criminals every single day are walking out the doors of their jail facilities back out on the streets and back out to commit further crimes,” Albence told “Fox & Friends.”
Trump tore into Chicago’s top cop on Monday at a law enforcement conference in the city, blasting Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson for soaring violent crime rates and accusing him of putting "criminals and illegal aliens" before Windy City residents.
The series of broadsides from the commander-in-chief came after Johnson boycotted the president’s speech at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Chicago. Trump went after Johnson at length -- going so far as to suggest he should be replaced while describing the city as more dangerous than Afghanistan -- before diving into his prepared remarks.
“People like Johnson put criminals and illegal aliens before the citizens of Chicago,” Trump said. “Those are his values, and frankly, those values to me are a disgrace.”
Chicago is a sanctuary city where local authorities do not cooperate with federal immigration officials, denying information that would help them deport people living in the U.S. illegally. Proponents say Chicago's efforts encourage cooperation between local police and immigrant communities.
Albence said that the recidivism rates among certain groups of criminal illegal immigrants are as high as 70 percent.
“These are individuals who are not one-time criminals. These are recidivist criminals, many violent. Many have been here illegally and deported previously, yet they [Chicago officials] do nothing to help get them off the street,” he said.
Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly contributed to this report.