MILITARY

Union-backed Ronald Vitiello named to lead Border Patrol

  • This undated photo provided by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows Ronald Vitiello. Vitiello, a career Border Patrol official who was backed by the agents' union, was named Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, as chief of the agency, less than a week after his predecessor resigned under pressure. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)

    This undated photo provided by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows Ronald Vitiello. Vitiello, a career Border Patrol official who was backed by the agents' union, was named Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, as chief of the agency, less than a week after his predecessor resigned under pressure. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • This undated photo provided by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows Ronald Vitiello. Vitiello, a career Border Patrol official who was backed by the agents' union, was named Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, as chief of the agency, less than a week after his predecessor resigned under pressure. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)

    This undated photo provided by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows Ronald Vitiello. Vitiello, a career Border Patrol official who was backed by the agents' union, was named Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, as chief of the agency, less than a week after his predecessor resigned under pressure. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)  (The Associated Press)

A longtime Border Patrol official who is backed by the agents' union has been named chief of the agency, less than a week after his predecessor resigned under pressure.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Tuesday on Twitter than Ronald Vitiello has been appointed to lead the agency at a time when President Donald Trump has pledged to erect a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico and add 5,000 agents from the current level of about 20,000.

The National Border Patrol Council — an early and outspoken backer of Donald Trump's presidential bid — openly supported Vitiello for the job and pushed for the ouster of his predecessor, Mark Morgan, who resigned last week at the request of the new administration.