President Donald Trump on Sunday announced he’s tapping Mark Morgan as the new director of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.
“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,” Trump tweeted. “He will do a great job!”
Morgan is a career FBI official who also served as head of Border Patrol under the Obama administration.
This comes after a major shakeup in the Department of Homeland Security last month. Out of a desire to see Homeland Security move in a “tougher direction,” Trump withdrew his nomination for Ronald D. Vitiello as the head of ICE. Meanwhile, Trump pressured Kirstjen Nielsen to resign as head of the department over consternation linked to a surge in attempted border crossings and asylum seekers.
ICE is under the jurisdiction of Homeland Security and charged with the enforcement of immigration laws within the US.
Morgan has been vocally supportive of Trump’s controversial immigration policies and rhetoric, strongly championing the president’s plan to build a wall along the US-Mexico border.
He was forced to step down from his brief role as head of Border Patrol in January 2017 after Trump’s inauguration, but this did not stop him from supporting the president’s immigration agenda.
In an interview with The Washington Post earlier this year, Morgan urged Trump to “stay the course” on immigration.
“I was removed. I’m standing up and saying, ‘I should have disdain for them, but I don’t because they are right,'” Morgan said at the time. “I can stand up and say they are right because it’s the right thing to do for this country. I’m begging the president to stay the course.”
Morgan has made frequent appearances on Fox News echoing such statements and support for the president, and Trump apparently took notice.
In mid-April, Trump tweeted, “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 will need to be confirmed by the Senate before officially becoming head of ICE.