- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 30, 2018

A former top Border Patrol official was tapped Saturday to be the acting chief of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Ronald D. Vitiello takes over from Thomas D. Homan, who had been the acting chief since the start of the Trump administration.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced the move, calling Mr. Vitiello a “well-respected career law enforcement officer” and promised he would be a good advocate for agents and officers.

He has been the acting deputy commissioner at Customs and Border Protection, ICE’s sister immigration-law enforcement agency, where he’s overseen initial construction of Mr. Trump’s border wall.

ICE has been without a permanent director since the beginning of the Trump administration.



Mr. Homan had been performing the duties and had even been nominated for the post, but the nomination stalled in the Senate.

He has been a fierce advocate for ICE’s deportation officers and a vociferous opponent of sanctuary cities, saying they put his officers in danger and risked community safety.

He had been set to retire at the beginning of 2017 but the Trump administration had begged him to stay on.

His departure comes at a tricky time for ICE, which is now facing calls from immigrant-rights activists and some congressional Democrats to be disbanded.

They object to detaining immigrants who crossed the border illegally and are awaiting deportation, and to officers attempting to arrest immigrants who have already been ordered deported but were released by sanctuary cities.

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