President Trump announced Sunday that Mark Morgan, who led Border Patrol during the last few months of the Obama administration, is his choice for chief of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
“I am pleased to inform all of those that believe in a strong, fair and sound Immigration Policy that Mark Morgan will be joining the Trump Administration as the head of our hard working men and women of ICE,” Trump tweeted.
“Mark is a true believer and American Patriot. He will do a great job!” Morgan left Border Patrol in late January 2017, one day after Trump signed an executive order to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
In his return to the Trump administration, Morgan will replace former acting ICE Director Ronald Vitiello, who resigned earlier this month.
Vitiello left his post after Trump announced he wanted to go in a “tougher” direction with the agency.
The announcement comes amid a shakeup in the Department of Homeland Security following the resignation of former Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. Kevin McAleenan, whom Trump tapped as acting secretary to replace Nielsen, most recently served as Customs and Border Protection commissioner.
McAleenan said in a statement that Morgan’s experience will be an “asset” to the Department of Homeland Security.
“Mark Morgan is a career civil servant that has served his country for decades in the United States Marine Corps, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Border Patrol,” McAleenan told The Hill. “His record of service is needed to address the crisis at the border and support the men and women of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The depth of his experience will be an asset to the Department and I look forward to working with him.”
It was not immediately clear if Trump formally nominated Morgan for the position, which requires Senate confirmation. The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.
In a Sunday evening tweet, Trump said Matt Albence will serve as acting director or ICE until Morgan can be confirmed. Trump tapped Albence as acting director in April after pulling the nomination of acting director Ron Vitiello.