The Border Patrol chief announced his departure on Wednesday after less than two years in a post at the center of a contentious political debate. Rodney Scott has been transferred, according to a letter he sent to his agents.
“I will continue working hard to support you over the next several weeks to ensure a smooth transition,” he wrote.
The Washington Examiner in an exclusive report said Scott, a career agent, was named head in Jan. 2020 and strongly supported former President Trump’s initiatives, notably on border security. President Biden has stopped building the border wall, which was one of his predecessor’s primary goals.
A request for comment from the Department of Homeland Security was not immediately returned. Scott didn’t react to a text message right away.
According to three sources familiar with the conversation, Scott notified regional leaders from around the country of his plans to quit via video conference on Wednesday. According to the sources, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas made the ultimate decision to fire Scott.
According to one source, the move has nothing to do with Scott’s performance in the last 18 months or how he has dealt with the increase of individuals crossing the southern border since President Joe Biden entered office. Instead, Scott’s position is apolitical, and he is a 29-year Border Patrol officer. The decision was “completely driven by politics.”
The source said, “This is unprecedented.” The “three R letter,” which stands for resign, retire, or move, was handed to Scott by Border Patrol officers. A request for comment on Scott’s departure went unanswered. On his personal Facebook page, Scott stated that he got a letter telling him to leave his job today.
“I received my 3R letter today. For those not familiar, that is Federal government slang for the letter issued to [Senior Executive Service] level employees informing them of a directed reassignment. The recipient has 3 options–relocate, resign, or retire. No rationale or reason is required, nor is it disciplinary,” Scott stated.
“Just a simple needs of the service directed reassignment so the new administration can place the person they want in the position,” Scott added. “A huge thank you to all those who have reached out, prayed and supported me and my family, especially over these last few crazy months. I remain confident that God is in control … over 29 yrs is a pretty good run!”
Border Patrol’s parent department, U.S. Customs, and Border Protection, have struggled to have a commander approved by the Senate five months into the Biden administration. In mid-April, Biden recommended Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus for the position. Last June, Magnus’ department was criticized for the way police restrained a Hispanic man. Carlos Ingram-Lopez, the suspect, died in police custody.
According to a second source familiar with the administration’s internal deliberations on Magnus’ candidacy, the administration is considering promoting him to Border Patrol commander, for which he would not require congressional confirmation.
The first individual said, “They forced Bob Perez out, too,” referring to the CBP deputy commissioner. “They’re both career officials,” says the announcer. Requests for comment from CBP and DHS were not answered.