President Donald Trump announced Sunday that he will nominate Mark Morgan, an Obama-era Border Patrol chief, to be the head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Morgan is a former FBI agent who served as the Border Patrol chief for the final months of the Obama administration, but he was removed when Trump took office. Morgan went on to be a vocal supporter of Trump’s border wall and his national emergency declaration.
“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 Sunday. “Mark is a true believer and American Patriot. He will do a great job!”
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. Mark is a true believer and American Patriot. He will do a great job!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 5, 2019
Bloomberg reported last week that Trump was considering Morgan for the role, which is currently filled by acting ICE Director Matt Albence.
Albence, an immigration hardliner, took over the agency after former Trump pick Ronald Vitiello resigned. Trump pulled Vitiello’s nomination in early April, saying he wanted to go in a “tougher” direction.
The move came at the same time that Kirstjen Nielsen tendered her resignation as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a shakeup that pointed to the president’s desire to crack down on illegal immigration before the 2020 elections.
Since Nielsen’s departure, the Trump administration has announced tighter restrictions on visa overstays and public housing benefits for illegal immigrants. Attorney General Bill Barr also decided last month that illegal immigrants who claim asylum are no longer eligible to be released on bond.
Morgan will likely serve as a strict implementer of Trump’s policy agenda, as he has repeatedly called the situation at the southern border a crisis and has slammed Democrats for their opposition to the border wall. (RELATED: Obama’s Border Patrol Chief Fights Back Against Media)
During a Fox News interview after Nielsen’s departure, Morgan said her exit would “jump start” DHS.