WASHINGTON — Chaos intensified on Tuesday inside the agency responsible for securing the nation’s borders as a top official was replaced by an immigration hard-liner and former Fox News contributor who last week pushed for nationwide deportations.
Mark Morgan, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting director who pushed for raids to deport undocumented families, will lead Customs and Border Protection, administration officials said Tuesday.
In the new position, Mr. Morgan will be responsible for processing thousands of asylum-seeking families, including children, in facilities along the southwestern border. Before he was named acting director of ICE, Mr. Morgan made frequent appearances on Fox News supporting some of President Trump’s more aggressive immigration policies.
He is replacing John Sanders, the acting commissioner, who will step down in early July as the government’s primary border enforcement executive.
The personnel changes come as the agency faces continuing public fury over the treatment of detained migrant children.
Matt Albence, the deputy director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, will lead that agency, officials said.
“Although I will leave it to you to determine whether I was successful,” Mr. Sanders wrote in a letter to his agents made available by the Department of Homeland Security. “I can unequivocally say that helping support the amazing men and women of C.B.P. has been the most fulfilling and satisfying opportunity of my career.”
The move once again overhauls leadership at the Department of Homeland Security, an agency responsible for enforcing customs, border and immigration law that has already been destabilized by a purge of officials just two months ago.
The White House in recent months has inserted multiple officials who have taken to television to support Mr. Trump’s more aggressive immigration policies, using certain officials to knock out others without any clear vision for the agency.