According to a report, a top-ranking official in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is resigning from his position, marking the second high-level official to leave the department in one week.
It has been confirmed that David Shahoulian, a top DHS official overseeing border policy, had submitted his resignation over personal reasons, according to CNN.
Mr. Shahoulian had served throughout three U.S. presidents. From being assistant secretary for border security and immigration under Obama to Democratic chief counsel of the House Judiciary Committee under Trump, he resumed his previous role with Biden.
It had not been clear who would step in the vacant position Shahoulian left behind.
CNN reported that Mr. Shahoulian resigned one day after Ms. Karen Olick, another influential official in the department, voiced her departure. Olick had worked as chief of staff to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Both Olick and Shahoulian are looking to leave by the end of September.
As Politico reported, Mayorkas said Ms. Olick was leaving for more opportunities, but what direction she was aiming for had not been disclosed.
The loss of two top officials came during a crucial period for the DHS. As the massive influx of illegal asylum seekers at the Mexico-U.S. border continues to soar in addition to the extra workload from resettling Afghan refugees.
As CNN reports, the Biden administration expects 65,000 Afghan refugees to be housed in the U.S. and wait for their resettlement by the end of September. Over the next 12 months, the number of Afghan refugees arriving is projected to be another 30,000.
Compared to a decline to roughly 2,000 enrollment per month in the past four years, the load has been dramatically increased for the Biden administration and border officials.
“The biggest challenge is that everyone is here all at once. It’s not the way the program is set up,” one administrator told CNN.
Struggling to deal with both the number of illegal immigrants at the border as well as assisting the resettlement program, Mayorkas, in a recent news conference, admitted the DHS was “indeed stressed.”