The Chief Is OUT – Replacement ANNOUNCED!

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) made an official announcement on Friday, unveiling significant leadership changes within the Border Patrol. The outgoing Chief of the Border Patrol, Raul Ortiz, will be retiring on June 30, and the responsibility of leading the agency will be handed over to Jason Owens, who currently serves as the head of the Del Rio Sector. With more than two and a half decades of experience in the Border Patrol, Owens is well-equipped to take on the role of Chief during a time when the border is grappling with a crisis exacerbated by the termination of the Title 42 public health order. Many officials have expressed concerns that the current situation at the border is likely to persist in the long term, posing significant challenges and complexities.

In addition to the change in the Border Patrol’s leadership, the DHS also announced the retirement of Benjamin “Carry” Huffman, the acting Deputy Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Taking Huffman’s place will be Pete Flores, the current Executive Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Field Operations. This transition in leadership within the CBP is another notable development that underlines the organizational shifts taking place within the DHS.

In the official statement, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas acknowledged the commendable careers of both Huffman and Ortiz, emphasizing their unwavering dedication to ensuring the safety and security of Americans. Mayorkas expressed gratitude for their invaluable contributions and acknowledged the sacrifices they had made in their respective roles. He further emphasized that their legacies would endure within the organization, serving as a source of inspiration for the men and women who continue to serve on the front lines of border security.

Turning his attention to Jason Owens, Mayorkas conveyed his confidence in Owens’ abilities, describing him as a committed and inspiring leader. Mayorkas expressed his belief that Owens would effectively carry on the crucial work of the Border Patrol, navigating the complex challenges posed by the border crisis. This vote of confidence from the DHS Secretary highlights the trust placed in Owens to address the pressing issues at hand and maintain the agency’s commitment to safeguarding the nation’s borders.

Notably, Mayorkas, in his statement, made a departure from previous assertions, acknowledging that certain sectors along the border were overwhelmed. This marks a shift from previous statements where Mayorkas defended the agency’s control of the border and argued against unlawful crossings during prior administrations. The recognition of overwhelmed sectors underscores the severity of the ongoing crisis and highlights the need for proactive measures and comprehensive solutions to address the border challenges effectively.

As the leadership changes take effect within the Border Patrol and CBP, the DHS and its new appointees face the formidable task of managing the border crisis while upholding their commitment to national security. The decisions made by these leaders will have a far-reaching impact on border enforcement policies, strategies, and the overall management of the border. The nation will be closely watching as the new leadership assumes their roles and works towards mitigating the border crisis while ensuring the safety and security of the American people.

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