Mark Morgan, an assistant director at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has been named the new chief of the United States Border Patrol.
In an unconventional move, Morgan is the first person in 92 years to take the position without having first worked within the agency — and there are those who are not pleased with the decision.
The National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents Border Patrol agents and support personnel assigned to the U.S. Border Patrol, posted a statement within hours of the announcement that expressed frustration and skepticism.
“[W]e are disappointed that Commissioner Kerlikowske chose to break with 92 years of tradition and pass over several highly qualified candidates from within the Border Patrol,” the union wrote.
The NBPC noted that they are ready to work with Morgan on issues and problems that the Border Patrol faces. However, they warn that if he does not make strong and fruitful efforts to keep agents safe and empowered to enforce laws, then the NBPC “will not pause in [their] mission to bring the truth about the border to light or as the voice of 16,500 Border Patrol agents.”
Talking directly to the new chief, the NBPC had this to say: “We would ask Chief Morgan to remember that the men and women working on the border everyday are the real experts in border security, and that it would behoove him to hear and act upon their concerns and suggestions. This is an agency with a long tradition of service and a commitment to its mission that has few parallels. The Border Patrol has a unique mission that is reflected in its culture and we realize it will be difficult for an outsider to quickly gain the trust and respect of his subordinates.”
Morgan has made comments in the past about the importance of close coordination between different government agencies. “I think people realize now that integration and sharing information is not something that’s nice to think about. It’s not a luxury, it’s a must,” Morgan told Fox News in April of this year. “I think everybody gets that – in the national security and law enforcement side – but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to do.”
After the announcement, the FBI assistant director stated that, “It is my great privilege and honor to be selected to serve with the men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol and to lead this great organization.”