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CBP Chief Asked If People Other Than White Males Should Be Running Immigration Policy

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter
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Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan gave pushback when asked if it’s an issue that most of the people leading the White House’s immigration agenda are white males.

“It’s [President] Donald Trump. It’s [Vice President] Mike Pence. It’s you. It’s [U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services acting Director] Ken Cuccinelli. It’s [White House adviser] Stephen Miller,” Axios co-founder Jim VandeHei said to Morgan in an interview that aired Sunday. “Then you look at the under secretaries, the acting under secretaries and the directors. Every single one of them is a white man.”

VandeHei — who notably failed to mention Carla Provost, the woman who has led the U.S. Border Patrol since April 2017 — asked whether it was necessary to include other people who are affected by immigration policies, such as women and Hispanics.

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The exchange was part of Axios’ wide-ranging interviews of Morgan and Cuccinelli. Current immigration initiatives undertaken by the Trump administration, as well as recent controversies, were among the topics of discussion.

However, the acting CBP chief swatted down the notion that gender or ethnicity mattered when it came to leading all of the agencies under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

“I think the premise of that question is a false premise,” Morgan said to “Axios on HBO.” “You’re saying because we’re white somehow there’s an issue there. … We should be judged by the content of our character, not the fact that I’m a white male. Talk to me, get to know me and what I stand for as a human being.”

Morgan, who Trump tapped in June to lead CBP, also noted that Border Patrol is the most diverse law enforcement agency in the U.S.

“It’s the most diverse federal law enforcement organization in the country … at the leadership as well,” Morgan added after VandeHei suggested that diversity only applied to the “grassroots” level of the agency. “We have a female chief of the Border Patrol, the first female in the history of its existence.”

“That’s why I think that’s kind of a false premise in the way you described that,” Morgan said.

Trump revealed on Nov. 1 that he plans to promote Chad Wolf, the acting undersecretary for policy at DHS, as the acting secretary of the entire department. Because of succession rules, Wolf will first need to be approved in the Senate for his current position before the president can name him acting secretary. (RELATED: Bernie’s New Immigration Proposal: Break Up ICE, Decriminalize Illegal Immigration, 50,000 ‘Climate Migrants’ And More)

However, it appears that the move may only be temporary until a permanent replacement is found. Morgan’s name has been listed as a possible contender to lead DHS in a more permanent capacity.

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