President Donald Trump has selected a new lead for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

Mark Morgan was a former border patrol chief under the Obama administration and is supportive of the president’s border wall.

Morgan was removed six days after President Trump took office in January 2017, and was replaced by Ronald Vitiello. Consequently, Vitiello was moved to acting director of ICE in June 2018.

The president tweeted on Sunday, “Mark Morgan will be joining the Trump Administration as the head of our hardworking men and women of ICE.” He added, Morgan, will “do a great job.”

The president tweeted later that Matt Albence will continue to serve as acting director until Morgan’s confirmation by the Senate.

Morgan was a former FBI agent. He reportedly clashed with the Border Patrol union. Considered the first outsider to lead the Border Patrol, Morgan is said to have a strong relationship with President Trump.

Morgan has publicly defended Trump administration immigration policies and declared earlier this year his support for the president’s efforts to build a wall at the U.S.–Mexico border.

Attorney Jodi Goodwin (C) speaks to migrants seeking asylum near the international bridge in Matamoros, Mexico, on April 30, 2019. Goodwin explained to them what would happen to them when they entered U.S. custody. (Eric Gay/AP Photo)

ICE Statistics

It may be tough deciphering what is actually occurring at the border, and throughout the country regarding ICE and arrest and removal of illegal immigrants.

Illegal immigrants are removed based on the individual lacking a legal basis to remain in the United States.

It states on the ICE website that although every effort is made to arrest illegal immigrants who threaten public safety, no criminal action or conviction is required for an illegal to be arrested, detained, and/or removed from the country by Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).

In the fiscal year 2018, ERO arrested 158,581 illegal immigrants.  66 percent were convicted criminals, 21 percent had pending charges, and 3 percent were previously issued final orders for removal. 

The total number of illegal immigrants removed from the country was 256,085. Of those removals, over half were convicted criminals.

Nearly 6,000 known/suspected gang members were removed in the fiscal year 2018.

Overall, arrest figures represent an 11 percent increase from the year before.

Includes reporting from the Associated Press.

(Correction: The figures in a sentence were changed to reflect the proper ICE figures. “66 percent were convicted criminals, 21 percent had pending charges, and 3 percent were previously issued final orders for removal.”

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