Customs commissioner Alan Bersin to leave post

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The head of Customs and Border Protection will leave his post at the end of the month.

The agency said Commissioner Alan Bersin told President Obama earlier in the day that he intended to leave office Dec. 30.

Obama nominated Bersin to head the agency in September 2009 and appointed him commissioner in March 2010, after the Senate didn’t act on the nomination. Bersin was one of 15 officials to receive a recess appointment that year.

In a statement announcing his resignation, Bersin said he was grateful for the chance to lead CBP.

“My service as commissioner has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my public life,” Bersin said Thursday. “I am immensely proud of the significant and meaningful achievements we have made on our borders and at our nation’s ports of entry over nearly two years.”

Bersin’s recess appointment term expires Dec. 31. A replacement has not been named.

Bersin served as Obama’s border czar, a post the administration created to focus on issues related to illegal immigration and relations with Mexico in its war against drug cartels, before being elevated to head of CBP. He also previously helped coordinate law enforcement efforts at the Mexican border during the Clinton administration while he was working at the Justice Department.

Kells Hetherington