Donald Trump with Rodney Scot in St. Louis. Arizona, June 23, 2020.
Photo: SAUL LOEB / . / .
The Biden administration is expelling the chief of the US Border Patrol, Rodney S. Scott, who took control of the agency during the final year of the Trump administration, a Department of Homeland Security official said Wednesday, according to The New York Times.
The move comes as Vice President Kamala Harris plans to visit the southwest border on Friday for the first time since President Biden asked her to lead the administration’s efforts to deter migration from Central America.
Republicans have increased pressure on Biden and Harris to visit the border, where a record number of migrants have tried to cross in recent months.
Scott, a 29-year Border Patrol veteran, took command of the agency in February 2020 and was a supporter of the president’s border policies. Donald Trump, in particular his plan to complete a wall between the United States and Mexico.
The Homeland Security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The New York Times that while Mr. Scott was asked to step down from this position, it was possible that he would be reassigned to a new position within the department.
In a message on his personal Facebook account, Rodney explained that he has received a letter informing him of his “reassignment.” He clarified that normally the recipient of this type of letter has three options “a relocation, a reassignment or withdrawal”, and that it is not a disciplinary action nor does the reason have to be offered.
“Simply the needs of the service motivate the reassignment so that the new Administration can place the person who is required in the position,” said Rodney.
The Border Patrol monitors nearly 6,000 miles of the nation’s borders with Mexico and Canada, between official points of entry. It has been at the center of a highly polarized national debate over immigration policy, particularly when Trump implemented hardline tactics against undocumented immigrants.
Under Trump’s leadership, the Border Patrol tried to catch and detain hundreds of thousands of immigrants, including migrant families who fled violence in their home countries.
At the beginning of this year, Scott refused to follow a directive from the Biden administration to stop using the term “illegal alien.” in reference to undocumented immigrants. Referring to immigration laws, which use the term, Scott said public trust in the Border Patrol would continue to erode if its agents were forced to use terms “inconsistent with the law.”
The change of command at the head of the Border Patrol appears to be a first step toward a broader review of Border Patrol leadership under President Biden.
With information from .