Gary Mead is the Executive Associate Director for Enforcement and Removal Operations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Washington D.C. Mr. Mead oversees a $2.5 billion budget and 8,395 employees. ERO promotes public safety and national security by removing national security threats, high-risk criminal aliens, illegal alien fugitives, and absconders; and ensuring safe and effective custody management for more than 30,000 illegal aliens in custody each day.
Between 1974 and 2006, he served in the U.S. Marshals Service where he held a number of Senior Executive Service law enforcement and administrative positions at the associate and assistant director levels. His areas of responsibility included Prisoner Operations, Asset Forfeiture, JPATS, Management and Budget, Human Resources, and the U.S. Marshals Service Training Academy. Between 2006 and 2008, he served as the assistant director for management, deputy director and acting director for the ICE Office of Detention and Removal Operations (currently, ERO). From 2008 to 2009, Mr. Mead was a self-employed criminal justice and immigration consultant. He returned to ICE in November 2009 as deputy assistant director, and then assistant director, of Detention Management.
Mr. Mead holds a master's degree and has received two Senior Executive Service Presidential Rank Awards.
No explanation was provided by the White House as to why these "low-risk, non-criminal detainees" were in custody in the first place.