Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner John Sanders, the Trump administration’s point-man on the border crisis, will resign early next month.
President Trump said Tuesday he didn’t ask Mr. Sanders to go, but “knew” a change was coming.
Mr. Sanders had been on the job only a few months, with his tenure overlapping the worst of the border chaos that’s consumed Washington.
His last day will be July 5, CBP confirmed to The Washington Times.
The announcement comes as lawmakers on Capitol Hill have blasted the agency for overcrowding at border facilities, particularly one in Clint, Texas, where visitors said they found deplorable conditions.
But a CBP official said Mr. Sanders’ move had nothing to do with Clint.
In a letter to employees, Mr. Sanders didn’t explain his departure but said he was proud to have led the agency.
He became acting commissioner when Kevin McAleenan was bumped from commissioner to become acting Homeland Security secretary.
None of the key top posts dealing with immigration has a Senate-confirmed person serving at this point.
Democrats say that is part of the reason for what they call chaos in President Trump’s immigration strategy.
“CBP is clearly failing to carry out its mission given the Trump administration’s disastrous immigration policies,” said Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, chair of the House Homeland Security Committee. “It is quite clear that bad actors in the White House are doing all they can to strong-arm the Department of Homeland Security and stand in the way of any progress or agreeable solution.”
The administration, though, says the numbers of people are to blame for the rough conditions. As of last week, border facilities built to hold perhaps 4,000 people had 15,000 people in them.
Mr. Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House, said he is “very concerned” about the conditions children are facing at the border. But he said they are better than they were under President Obama, who faced his own migrant surge in 2014.
“It’s in much better shape than it ever was,” Mr. Trump asserted.
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