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Thursday, October 6, 2022

Report: Vitiello May Move from Post at CBP to Take the Reins at ICE

Acting Deputy Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Ronald D. Vitiello may be the frontrunner to become the next director of Immigration Customs and Enforcement.

ICE Deputy Director Thomas Homan, who has filled the role of acting director since January 2017, announced in April his plans to retire this month.

Homan had originally planned to retire with the incoming administration in January 2017 but was convinced to stay on as acting director until a permanent ICE director could be found. He was nominated to permanently fill the role in November but was not confirmed by the Senate.

Quartz first reported on the possible move for Vitiello, citing several unnamed former and current officials within the Department of Homeland Security.

An announcement might come as early as Friday, the report said. The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The next ICE leader will take over at a time when the agency is facing strong public criticism over the administration’s hardline policy on locating and removing undocumented immigrants with criminal histories and the “zero-tolerance” policy that includes blanket prosecution for all adults who illegally enter the United States.

Vitiello began his career in 1985 as a Border Patrol agent in Laredo, Texas, and rose through the ranks to be named acting chief of the Border Patrol and acting deputy commissioner of CBP in 2015.

While serving in his most recent role, Vitiello has spoken about possible approaches to constructing President Trump’s proposed border wall and the issue of unaccompanied children crossing into the U.S. illegally.

In a recent interview with Homeland Security Today, Vitiello said he has sought to put a new face on the Border Patrol by increasing communication between the headquarters in Washington, D.C., and agents serving in the field.

“I have a deep appreciation for what the field knows and never assume that I can solve their problems from up here,” Vitiello said. “Being in the headquarters is a unique opportunity to add to the whole enterprise or make improvements to the enterprise … I think that it’s important they have a voice up here, so that we’re not trying to drive solutions from 3,000 miles away.”

Brad Allen
Brad M. Allen is a young journalist from Janesville, Wisconsin. He is currently studying Political Journalism and Economics at George Mason University, and he has recently completed his eighth semester of college at UW-Whitewater, where he studies Journalism. He is slated to graduate from UW-Whitewater in December 2018. Brad has worked with two newspaper publications in the southern Wisconsin area, those being The Royal Purple student-run newspaper at UW-Whitewater and the Janesville Gazette daily newspaper. Thus far in his time at the Royal Purple, Brad has been a prominent member of the editorial team in several roles ranging from the Business section editor to Managing Editor. A fair portion of his reporting experience there has involved investigating federal policy and national issues and interviewing officials and economists in southern Wisconsin to boil those issues down to a local level. At the Janesville Gazette, Brad designs newspaper pages containing stories on various state, national and international issues. His job there involves reading and dissecting content written by organizations such as the Associated Press and Tribune News Services to choose which stories will be most relevant to readers in Janesville.

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