The acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, John Sanders, will step down in early July as the government’s primary border enforcement executive, a development that comes as the agency faces continuing public fury over the treatment of detained migrant children.
Sanders announced his resignation in an email to colleagues shortly after it was reported by journalists.
He has led the agency since Trump tapped the former Customs and Border Protection commissioner, Kevin McAleenan, to replace Kirstjen Nielsen as homeland security secretary.
Sanders specialized in developing technology for national security initiatives and previously served as the chief technology officer for the Transportation Security Administration.
It was yet another personnel change at the highest levels of the Department of Homeland Security, where leadership instability has accompanied a crisis at the border amid the biggest migration surge in more than a decade.
The shake-up today continued a purge of DHS leadership that Trump began in April that has left every single border- or immigration-related agency at DHS with an acting leader who has not been confirmed by the Senate.
Mark Morgan, a former Marine and FBI agent who has been leading Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for fewer than two months, will take over the post.
Morgan served as chief of the Border Patrol in the final months of the Obama administration, but he has since become a vocal supporter of President Trump’s hard-line immigration-enforcement strategy.
Matt Albence, the deputy director of ICE who led the agency before Morgan’s arrival, will resume once more as ICE acting director.
The change occurs as the squat, sand-colored concrete border station in Texas, that has become the center of debate over President Trump’s immigration policies, continued with a chaotic shuffle of migrant children today as more than 100 were moved back into a facility that days earlier had been emptied in the midst of criticism that young detainees there were hungry, crying and unwashed.
The station in Clint, Tex., sits in the middle of a farm town of fewer than 1,000 residents, framed by high fencing and a tall communications tower.
In recent weeks, it has become a temporary home to hundreds of migrant children as the government has run out of space to place the large numbers of migrants continuing to flow into the country from Central America.
Lawyers who visited the facility said they found it stretched beyond its capacity, with hundreds of minor detainees having gone for weeks without access to showers, clean clothing or sufficient food.
The continuing movement of children and confusion over the situation at Clint demonstrated the increasingly disorganized situation along the southern border and the government’s struggle to maintain minimal humanitarian standards amid an unprecedented influx of migrant families that only recently has begun to show any signs of slowing.
During a court-ordered visit to the facility earlier this month, some children said they had not been allowed to shower in nearly a month, and were so hungry that it had been hard for them to sleep through the night.
Federal officials had previously told the office of Representative Terry Canales, a Democrat from Texas who requested a list of needed supplies, that the agency would not be able to accept outside donations.
Attribution:The New York Times