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Tag: mark morgan

Sharp Rise in Illegal Drug Seizures As Cartels Adapt to Coronavirus Pandemic

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities are reporting a steep rise in the seizure of illegal drugs as cartels adopt to new tactics during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan.

Most notably, meth seizures along the border through August have more than doubled over all of fiscal year 2019. Marijuana and fentanyl seizures also are higher than last year.

Via CBP.

“Cartels are constantly finding new and innovative ways to smuggle not only illegal immigrants, but also drugs,” Morgan said, BorderReport.com reports. “We saw a precipitous drop in March but they changed their tactics and procedures quickly and are right back on top.”

After a sharp decline in drug trafficking amid the pandemic, drug traffickers are now focusing on deadly drugs that are easier to hide and more cost-effective to ship. Morgan pointed to the seizure in mid-August of 158 pounds of liquid meth that were concealed in three cases of bottled water.

Seizures of drugs such as meth, heroin and fentanyl rose 56% in August compared to July.

The increase in drug trafficking has translated to a surge in violence in Mexican border towns, Morgan said. Since the end of August, Tijuana has reported 1,339 homicides, many of them drug-related.

CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan Calls Out Portland Leaders After Violence Breaks Out

CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan on Fox & Friends Weekend.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan slammed political leaders in Portland over their handling of violence in the city Saturday after Border Patrol agents were sent in to assist.

“What we saw in Portland last night was criminal and we stood strong with our federal partners to resist that,” Morgan told “Fox & Friends Weekend” on Sunday.

“Where are the local political leaders?”

Portland police declared the protest “a riot” late on Independence Dat after fires were set and violence broke out.

“These are not protesters, these are criminals who got together and organized and planned and actually brought weapons, they brought shields, they brought frozen water bottles, rocks, lasers, weapons with the intent to destroy a federal building and harm law enforcement officers,” Morgan said.

The protest comes after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Morgan called out one of the “criminals” for “trying to assault one of the CBP employees while he was being arrested.”

ICE, CBP Deploys Troops And Resources to Assist Law Enforcement Amid Protests

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

ICE and CBP have deployed troops and resources to assist local, state and federal law enforcement quell violence at protests across the nation.

“These ‘protests’ have devolved into chaos & acts of domestic terrorism by groups of radicals & agitators,” CBP Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan tweeted. “@CBP is answering the call and will work to keep DC safe.”

Morgan also said CBP was helping protect national monuments and memorial in Washington D.C.

“Last night, some of them were defaced by rioters,” Morgan tweeted on Monday. “We’re working hard to prevent it from happening again, and we’re proud to protect them.”

The deployment comes after Trump announced that he was dispatching the military across Washington D.C.

Trump also said he may send U.S. troops to U.S. cities where governors are not deploying their state National Guards to “dominate” their streets.

Democratic lawmakers called Trump’s threats an affront to free speech rights.

“This next week will be critical,” U.S. Rep Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., said in a news release Monday. We are at a crossroads. I hope our veterans speak out and stand up for the core values they believe in. This is a dangerous path for our institutions, our military –– and our nation.”

Trump Administration Shrouds CBP in Secrecy by Changing Its Designation to ‘Security Agency’

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Trump administration has changed CBP’s designation to make it a “security agency,” a move that shrouds the agency in secrecy.

An internal memo signed by CBP’s Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan revealed the change in designation, which became effective Jan. 31, The Nation reports.

With added layers of secrecy, CBP has the same designation as agencies like the FBI and Secret Service.

The change allows CBP to exempt key records from being disclosed to the public.

“I am pleased to announce CBP has been designated as a Security Agency under Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) official Data Release Policy, effective immediately,” the memo states. “Previously, only frontline law enforcement, investigative, or intelligence positions held this designation. This policy change now protects all CBP employee names from subsequent responses to Freedom of Information Act requests or other public disclosures for CGP employee data.”

Government transparency advocates warned that the change would make the agency less transparent at a time when it has come under intense public scrutiny.

“It puts their employees in the same category as FBI agents,” Irvin McCullough, national security analyst with the Government Accountability Project said. “The problems we’ve seen out of our immigration agencies over the past few years show that we need more transparency, not less. Why is there such a rush to restrict this information from the public? Given their track record, the burden is on them to explain exactly why they need these restrictions.”

Rodney Scott Named New Border Patrol Chief, Replacing Carla Provost

New Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott. Photo via CBP.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Trump administration has chosen Rodney Scott to lead the U.S. Border Patrol, replacing Carla Provost, who is retiring.

Scott, who most recently led the San Diego Sector, is a 27-year veteran of the agency.

CBP’s Acting Commissioner Mark A. Morgan lauded Scott for his integrity and experience.

“Chief Scott is the absolute embodiment of the U.S. Border Patrol’s ‘Honor First’ motto, and I am confident that under his leadership, the men and women of the Border Patrol will be well served, the laws of this nation will be enforced, and our borders will be secured,” Morgan said in a statement.

Scott joined Border Patrol in 1992, serving at the Imperial Beach Station in San Diego, Calif. During his career, he’s held various leadership positions, including chief patrol agent of the El Centro Sector; deputy chief patrol agent at San Diego Sector; patrol agent in charge at the Brown Field Station in San Diego Sector; assistant chief in CBP’s Office of Anti-Terrorism in Washington, D.C.; and director/division chief for the Incident Management and Operations Coordination Division at CBP headquarters.

Read Morgan’s full statement here.

Trump’s CBP Head Violated Ethics Rules While Working for the FBI

CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan, via White House.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

President Trump appointed Mark Morgan to head Customs and Border Protection in an effort to clean up the agency.

But it turns out, Morgan violated federal ethics roles while working for the FBI as deputy assistant director of the training division in 2015.

Morgan solicited sponsors to purchase booze and upscale food for FBI happy hours, even though he had been warned it violated federal rules to ask outside entities to pay for social events, the Justice Department’s inspector general found.

Morgan was the acting ICE director in June when Trump appointed him to replace John Sanders as acting head of CBP. Morgan had previously served as chief of Border Patrol before taking over as head of ICE in May.

Morgan became the first person to lead CBP without having served at Border Patrol.

His appointment was intended to bring fresh eyes into an agency that needed cleaned up.

Trump’s Search for Fifth Homeland Security Secretary Hits Snag

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s search for a fifth Homeland Security secretary in less than three years just hit a major snag.

Two of his purported top picks are ineligible by a federal law governing agency succession, White House officials told Trump, according to reports in Politico and The Wall Street Journal.

Trump was gunning for Mark Morgan, acting CBP commissioner, or Ken Cuccinelli, acting head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Immigration hawks have endorsed Cuccinelli.

White House officials gave Trump a list of other potential candidates who could take over as DHS head after acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan leaves at the end of the month. Among the names are DHS Assistant Secretary Chad Wolf, a former chief of staff of ousted DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and Transportation Security Administration chief David Pekoske.

Trump has been considering Wolf to be acting secretary, Politico reports. But Wolf’s position on immigration has been considered weak.

Leading Homeland Security has been no easy task because Trump has demanded a secretary whose focus is clearly on immigration, which is only one part of the multi-faceted agency.

President Trump Looking for Fifth Homeland Security Secretary Since Taking Office

Homeland Security helicopter, via Homeland Security.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Job security is not exactly a perk in the top job at the Department of Homeland Security.

Kevin McAleenan was the fourth person to hold the job of Homeland Security secretary since Donald Trump became president three years ago. His resignation Friday means the agency that protects the nation against terrorism, cyberattacks, illegal immigrant natural disasters and other threats needs another leader.

The two leading candidates to replace McAleenan are Mark Morgan, acting CBP commissioner, and Ken Cuccinelli, acting head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, according to The Wall Street Journal, which notes the list of potential candidates may expand.

Leading Homeland Security has been no easy task because Trump has demanded a secretary whose focus is clearly on immigration, which is only one part of the multi-faceted agency.

Enter Morgan and Cuccinelli. Their rhetoric on immigration matches the president’s, so they are more likely to be loyal.

“The rhetoric coming from the top of DHS will likely now more closely match the president,” Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum, a nonprofit that supports liberalized immigration legislation, told The Wall Street Journal.