President Trump’s latest choice to lead U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is a former Border Patrol chief under the Obama administration who has backed the president’s border wall.
Trump tweeted on Sunday that Mark Morgan “will be joining the Trump Administration as the head of our hard working men and women of ICE.”
He added: “Mark is a true believer and American Patriot. He will do a great job!”
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said in a statement that Morgan’s “record of service is needed to address the crisis at the border and support the men and women of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”
ICE is the agency tasked with enforcing immigration law in the interior of the U.S.
Part of ICE’s mission is to arrest immigrants in the U.S. illegally, which has made it a symbol of Trump’s hardline immigration policies.
Morgan graduated magna cum laude from the University of Central Missouri with a degree in Construction Engineering; he got a JD from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
His LinkedIn page says he is an “accomplished senior executive with 30 years of progressive experience leading people, driving strategic change, and creating an innovative culture with value-driven proven results.”
His bio also states his service: “U.S. Border Patrol/Customs and (Border) Protection, Federal Bureau of Investigations, Los Angeles Police Department, and United States Marine Corps.”
Morgan Supports Trump’s Border Wall
Morgan, who was named the head of U.S. Border Patrol in 2016, was ousted early in Trump’s presidency. Morgan was the first and so far the only outsider to lead the Border Patrol. He clashed with its union, which has had a strong relationship with Trump. Since Morgan left, he has defended Trump’s immigration policies and publicly declared earlier this year his support for Trump’s efforts to build a wall along the southern border.
Morgan wrote in an opinion piece for Fox News this past March: “It’s time to stop listening to those driven by a personal political ideology and arm yourself with facts, thorough analysis, and the perspective of credible experts. It’s an emergency.”
In April, Trump made his appreciation known, tweeting: “Mark Morgan, President Obama’s Border Patrol Chief, gave the following message to me: ‘President Trump, stay the course.’ I agree, and believe it or not, we are making great progress with a system that has been broken for many years!”
Morgan Saw Signs of the Growing Humanitarian Crisis Years Ago
Morgan told Fox News last January that starting in 2014, the demographics of the people coming across the U.S. border started to change.
“Meaning, we saw an influx in family units and unaccompanied minors,” Morgan said.
“It was then, also, across the aisle on both sides that referred to that as a humanitarian crisis.”
Morgan Thinks Immigration Laws “Are So Broke”
Just last week, Morgan told Fox News that the crisis at the U.S. border with Mexico has been getting exponentially worse.
“Right now if you grab a kid and come to our country illegally, you’re allowed in,” he said.
“They’re not even asserting credible fear claims, they’re not even asserting asylum now,” he said. “They don’t need to because our laws are so broke.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.