By Steve Neavling
The second-in-command at Immigration and Customs Enforcement is leaving his job of overseeing detention and deportations to take a position with a private prison.
Daniel Ragsdale temporarily served as the head of ICE until President Trump replaced him in January. He then became the deputy director.
Ragsdale will be working for GEO Group, a Boca-Raton-based private prison company, the Daily Beast reports. His position is unclear.
“While you may be losing me as a colleague, please know that I will continue to be a strong advocate for you and your mission,” Ragsdale wrote in an email to his ICE colleagues on April 28.
Ragsdale plans to step down on May 27.
“Dan is a person of great honor and a strong ethical code,” said a source close to Ragsdale. “I have no doubt he will bring great deal of integrity to the process to make sure organizations like GEO are complying with the rules and regulations regarding folks who are in detention because of their immigration status.”
Neither Ragdale nor the GEO Group responded to requests for interviews.
ICE is no stranger to GEO, which has lucrative contracts with the federal agency. The timing coincides with President Trump pledging to increase the use of private prisons, which the company said will be good for business.