- U.S. Border Patrol chief Mark Morgan is out, just a few months after taking over the agency as an Obama White House appointee
- He clashed with the rank-and-file officers’ union, which saw him as an outsider appointed for political purposes
- Morgan told employees on Wednesday that the Trump administration asked him to step down
- President Trump gave the order hours later to build a wall on America’s southern border, and said he would hire an additional 5,000 border patrol officers
The Department of Homeland Security has asked U.S. Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan, a former longtime Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, to step down from his post.
News of his departure, expected within a month, comes as the Trump administration moves toward tougher enforcement of immigration laws.
Two sources familiar with Morgan’s departure told Reuters that he held a morning phone call with employees to say that he was not resigning – but had been asked to leave by the Trump administration.
Morgan’s ouster also comes the day after President Donald Trump announced a broad plan to crack down on border security, including directing the construction of a wall along the border with Mexico.
The border patrol union, which endorsed Trump’s presidential campaign and applauded his executive order, had been critical of Morgan. The union criticized Morgan for supporting former President Barack Obama’s plans to shield certain illegal immigrants from deportation through a White House-driven amnesty.
The executive board of the National Border Patrol Council called Morgan arrogant and a ‘disgrace to the Border Patrol’ in an opinion piece published by Breitbart.com on Nov. 30.
Unlike many border patrol officers, Morgan did not climb the chain of command within the agency but was appointed from the FBI.