Replacement Border Patrol Chief Named

New Border Patrol Chief Named

( – At the end of May, the news broke that Raul Ortiz, the head of the US Border Patrol, was retiring after spending more than three decades with the agency, the prior two years as chief. Reports indicated Ortiz would step down at the end of June, which left many wondering who would replace him. Troy Miller, the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) acting commissioner, recently revealed who would fill his enormous shoes.

In a statement on the CBP website, Miller announced there were changes “among [the] senior leadership team.” He acknowledged Ortiz’s retirement, saying he’s “a true leader” who “has numerous accolades and awards,” but the greatest compliment is that “he is a great agent.” Stepping up to fill his role is Chief Jason Owens, who has been with the agency for over 25 years. Owens is currently head of the Del Rio Sector.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who selected Owens for the position, said he has full faith in Owens’ capability to lead the Border Patrol. Having worked with him, Mayorkas said he is “inspired by his commitment to the mission.” The Secretary was the one who persuaded Ortiz to take the role, talking him out of retirement nearly two years ago.

Owens will have quite the task ahead of him. While immigration numbers are currently down, despite Title 42 expiring last month, experts expect encounters to increase during the summer. Moreover, according to The New York Times, Owens has plenty of experience preparing and responding to mass influxes.

In addition to Ortiz’s retirement, the agency acknowledged that Acting Deputy Commissioner Benjamine Huffman, known as “Carry,” is retiring after nearly 40 years with the CBP. Pete Flores, a seasoned CBP agent with vast experience in intercepting illegal drugs at the border, will move into the role, which involves supporting the entire force of more than 65,000 people.

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