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Over the weekend, President Donald Trump announced his new nominee to head up Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): Former Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan.
“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,” the president tweeted on Sunday morning. “Mark is a true believer and American Patriot. He will do a great job!”
So who is Mark Morgan? Here’s a brief rundown of the career law enforcement officer’s resume and past statements.
- Morgan was named head of the Border Patrol during the waning months of the Obama administration. He was replaced during Trump’s first week in office with Ronald Vitiello. Vitiello was later moved up to acting ICE director; he recently stepped down.
- Before Morgan moved over to DHS, he spent 20 years working at the FBI, where he was eventually named assistant director of the Training Division at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.
- Before he went to work for the feds, Morgan served in the United States Marine Corps and the Los Angeles Police Department.
- He was the first outsider to lead the Border Patrol since the agency’s creation in 1924.
- He supports the idea of designating the drug cartels as terror groups under federal law: “The cartels must be targeted … with the same level of commitment and tenacity as we have against terrorist organizations.”
- He’s also expressed concerns to Congress about the influx of unaccompanied minors that stem from his time in Obama’s Border Patrol:
As chief of the Border Patrol, I toured the detention facilities filled to capacity with unaccompanied minors, 17 years of age or younger, who had illegally entered the country. Alone, without any parents or guardians. As I looked on, I saw both hardened young men as well as vulnerable and lost youth. With every encounter, I walked away wondering how many would be lured into joining a gang. The odds were not in their favor, as they were released into a city somewhere in the U.S., never to be heard from again.
- He also warned Congress that “We’re experiencing a crisis at the southern border at a magnitude never seen in modern times, it’s unprecedented.”
- He sees the clear connection between the border crisis and the drug crisis: “There is no way with any degree of certainty to know the quantity of drugs entering our country because at least 50 percent of the southwest border is wide open.”
- He sees catch-and-release policies and activist judges combined with changing migrant demographics as a key driving factors behind the current crisis.
- He’s previously disputed the Left’s talking point that children are being kept in “cages” at the border: “They’re not cages. They’re actually really nice facilities, and there are chain-link fences within the facilities, but it’s designed so the Border Patrol agents working there can provide safety and security for the people that are there.”
Morgan will have to be confirmed by the Senate before he can start the job, and given that pressure from the political Left has forced the withdrawal of Trump’s last two picks for the Federal Reserve, only time will tell whether or not Morgan’s previous statements will sink his nomination.