Mark Morgan, chief of the U.S. Border Patrol, resigned after only six months on the job, one day after President Trump announced plans to ratchet up immigration enforcement and build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, the Washington Post reports. Morgan, a career FBI official who was the first outsider to lead the agency responsible for securing the U.S. borders, was removed by Kevin McAleenan, acting commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency. Morgan had clashed with the powerful Border Patrol union, which endorsed Trump for president and whose leaders were present at Trump’s announcement of his immigration crackdown at Department of Homeland Security headquarters Wednesday.
Gil Kerlikowske, former commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said the union never supported Morgan for the job and appeared to be behind his departure. “The union has been very vocal about someone from outside of the Border Patrol becoming the head of the Border Patrol,” Kerlikowske said. “The union supported this candidate for president, and now very much appears to be directing things – which is absolutely unheard of in law enforcement. The union used their influence to have him removed.’’ Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, which represents 16,500 agents, said the union started actively lobbying Trump’s transition team shortly after the election to replace Morgan, who the union believed “did not make border security a priority.”