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Tae Johnson stepping down as acting ICE director

Tae Johnson is set to retire as the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) acting director after serving more than 30 years with the agency, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced in a Monday statement. 

“I am grateful to Tae Johnson for his service to ICE, the Department, and the nation. Mr. Johnson has been an integral member of ICE’s leadership team through multiple administrations,” Mayorkas wrote in the statement. 

Johnson, who has led the agency in an acting capacity since 2021, is the second high-profile immigration official to announce a departure in recent days, following U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz last week.

Mayorkas praised Johnson for his decades-long service to the Department of Homeland Security and credited him with helping execute the transition away from the Title 42 pandemic-era border restrictions. Mayorkas also said Johnson helped combat threats related to COVID-19 vaccines and fentanyl smuggling.

“I have personally benefitted from his frank assessments, solid judgment, and his deep expertise drawn from decades of experience. I offer my heartfelt congratulations to Tae for more than 31 years of dedicated service. The Department is grateful for his service and sacrifice, and that of his family who has served alongside him,” Mayorkas wrote. 

In February, the Government Accountability Office determined Johnson had served in an acting capacity for so long that he was in violation of the Vacancies Reform Act of 1998.

President Biden had nominated Texas’s Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez for the position, but he withdrew the nomination after he was unable to get enough Senate Democrats to support the bid.  

Source: The Hill

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