Acting ICE leader to vacate post, second Biden immigration leader to leave in June

Tae Johnson has served as acting director for roughly 2.5 years.

Published: June 5, 2023 10:02pm

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting leader Tae Johnson will leave his position at the end of June, marking the second high-profile exit by an immigration official in recent weeks as the Biden administration struggles to combat a surge in illegal migration at the southern border.

The agency confirmed Johnson's upcoming departure in a Monday statement, saying "[a]fter more than 30 years of dedicated service to our nation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Deputy Director and Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director Tae D. Johnson will retire from federal law enforcement at the end of the month," according to the Washington Examiner.

Johnson has served as acting director for roughly 2.5 years and the agency has not had an officially confirmed leader in roughly five. Johnson was the ninth consecutive acting director in that period. His successor remains unnamed.

The agency has faced considerable scrutiny in recent years, including calls for its outright abolition. 

In late May, U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz announced that he also planned to retire at the end of June.

"I leave at ease, knowing we have a tremendous uniformed and professional workforce, strong relationships with our union partners, and outstanding leaders who will continue to tirelessly advocate for you each day," he said at the time.

The twin exits come amid mounting frustrations among the border enforcement rank-and-file over the administration's approach to immigration.

More than five million migrants have been encountered illegally entering the U.S. under Biden's tenure, many of whom have secured release into the U.S. interior instead of being deported. The Biden administration last month ended the Title 42 order that permitted border agents to swiftly deport migrants should they hail from countries known to host communicable disease.

In the week leading up to the order's expiration, authorities encountered record daily migrant numbers on the Mexican frontier.

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.

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