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Once called a 'disgrace,' Trump taps ex-Obama border patrol chief for ICE

Published: Sunday, May 05, 2019 @ 2:46 PM

President Donald Trump continued his leadership shakeup on immigration at the Department of Homeland Security on Sunday, tweeting that he was naming former Obama Administration official Mark Morgan to be the new head of federal immigration enforcement.

"Mark is a true believer and American Patriot," the President tweeted on Sunday morning in announcing the ICE pick. "He will do a great job!"

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A former FBI agent, Morgan has been a frequent presence on the Fox News and Fox Business networks in recent months, lending his support to President Trump's push to crack down on illegal immigration.

"The President is absolutely correct when he says this is a national security and a humanitarian crisis," Morgan said in January about the need to protect the southern border of the United States.

Morgan though was seen much differently by supporters of President Trump back in 2016, when Morgan was tapped to head the Border Patrol at the end of the Obama Administration, as the main union of border patrol agents bluntly and publicly denounced Morgan's leadership.

"Chief Morgan is a disgrace to the Border Patrol," the National Border Patrol Council wrote on November 30, 2016, declaring that Morgan "does not have the will to secure the border."

The union, which represents over 16,000 border patrol agents, blasted Morgan for testimony in late 2016 to a Senate committee, in which he embraced the idea of 'comprehensive immigration reform.'

"This is directly contrary to the voice and will of the vast majority of the Republicans elected to Congress," the union wrote about Morgan. "It is also directly contrary to President-elect Trump’s comments while on the campaign trail."

“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,” the union wrote.

Morgan left his Border Patrol post in early 2017 - with news reports at the time indicating that he had been asked to leave.

But now, Morgan seems to be in line with the White House, and the President, on immigration policies.

"This is a crisis like we've never experienced before," Morgan said a few weeks ago.

A month ago, President Trump suddenly withdrew the nomination of Ron Vitiello to head ICE - Immigration and Customs Enforcement; three days later, the head of the Department of Homeland Security was on her way out as well.

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