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Biden names new Border Patrol chief amid mounting scrutiny of immigration policies

Ortiz served in the post since August of 2021 and announced his retirement in late May.

Published: June 9, 2023 8:02pm

Updated: June 9, 2023 8:04pm

President Joe Biden on Friday announced the appointment of a new Border Patrol chief to replace the outgoing Raul Ortiz, who plans to retire at the end of the month.

Jason Owens, a 20-year veteran of the Border Patrol will take his place. Owens has served as chief of the agency's Del Rio division, according to the New York Times. Migrant arrivals have surged under the Biden administration, with authorities encountering more than five million people at the border since 2021.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas celebrated Owens's appointment, saying he is "inspired by his commitment to the mission, and am grateful to him for his continued service in this new leadership role."

Earlier this year, the administration allowed the Title 42 immigration order allowing border agents to swiftly deport migrants should they hail from a nation known to host a communicable disease to expire.

Ahead of the order's termination, authorities encountered record levels asylum seekers.

Ortiz served in the post since August of 2021 and announced his retirement in late May.

"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 Biden administration has faced intense criticism from both border authorities and the general public over its handling of immigration. The administration holds an average 33.0% approval rating on the subject in the RealClearPolitics polling average. Moreover, 61.6% disapprove of its performance on immigration.

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

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