The chief of U.S. Customs and Border Protection is out of a job amid speculation that he either left the post of his own accord or that he’s been pushed out by the new administration.
Reuters reports Chief Mark Morgan has been asked to step down as the agency moves toward tougher enforcement of immigration laws under the Trump administration.
However, the CBS 5 Arizona is reporting it is not clear whether he had resigned or was asked to leave.
According to CBS, is not uncommon in a presidential transition. The head of the Transportation Security Administration, Peter Neffenger, also left during the transfer of power.
Citing anonymous official U.S. sources, Morgan told senior Border Patrol agents about his ouster during a brief videoconference today. Morgan said he was asked to leave and rather than fight the request he opted to resign, according to the AP. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussion was not intended for public consumption.
Morgan, a longtime former Federal Bureau of Investigation official, is expected to leave his post by the end of the month, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in Reuters reporting.
Whether his departure is being forced or if it’s of his own will, Reuters reports the border patrol union, which endorsed Trump’s presidential campaign and applauded his executive orders, had been critical of Morgan for supporting former President Barack Obama’s plans to safeguard certain undocumented immigrants from deportation.
The executive board of the National Border Patrol Council called Morgan arrogant and a “disgrace to the Border Patrol” in an opinion piece published by conservative Website Breitbart News Nov. 30.
Acting U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan issued a statement thanking Morgan for his service.
“On behalf of the men and women of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Border Patrol, I want to thank Mark Morgan for his unwavering dedication to our border security mission, and recognize his life-long career in service to the nation,” the statement said.
Reuters said unlike many border patrol officers, Morgan did not climb the chain of command within the agency but spent most of his career with the FBI.
Customs and Border Protection is a division of the Department of Homeland Security that manages US borders and entry points.
With more than 60,000 employees, it’s one of the world’s largest law-enforcement organizations and is charged with keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S. while facilitating lawful international travel and trade, according to CBP’s site.
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