US Border Patrol Chief Out After Trump's Immigration Executive Order

Mark Morgan leaves his post Jan. 31, after less than a year on the job.

ByABC News
January 26, 2017, 2:56 PM

— -- U.S. Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan is leaving his post, according to a statement from Kevin K. McAleenan, the acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, which oversees the patrol agency.

"On behalf of the men and women of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Border Patrol, I want to thank Mark Morgan for his unwavering dedication to our border security mission and recognize his lifelong career in service to the nation," McAleenan said in a statement released today.

Morgan's departure is effective Jan. 31. Sources familiar with the circumstances of his departure said that his exit was not for cause and that the new administration is moving in a different direction.

President Donald Trump was backed by unions representing Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers before the election. Trump pointed out National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd and Chris Crane, the head of the National ICE Council, during his visit to the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday, calling them friends and saying, "You guys are about to be very, very busy doing your job the way you want to do 'em."

According to a former DHS official, the union would prefer a Border Patrol insider to run the agency. Morgan became the its chief in 2016 after three decades in public service, including 20 years at the FBI. He served in the Marine Corps before beginning his career in law enforcement.

After the November elections, Breitbart Texas published an op-ed by the National Border Patrol Council, the union representing border agents and support staffers, calling Morgan a "disgrace to the agency." The piece alleged that he "is worried because he knows that his comments attacking President-elect Trump's border security policies prior to the election has him in hot water and his position as the chief of the Border Patrol is tenuous at best."

The editorial finished by stating, "Morgan — a hand-picked Obama administration official — does not have the will necessary to secure the border for the citizens and legal residents of this country."

News of Morgan's exit comes one day after Trump signed two executive orders on immigration authorizing an increase in Border Patrol enforcement officers and laying the groundwork for building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

ABC News' Arlette Saenz and Serena Marshall contributed to this report

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