Ronald Vitiello Named New Acting Director of ICE

Ronald Vitiello

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced on Saturday the appointment of Ronald Vitiello, acting deputy commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) new acting director and deputy director.

“As U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Deputy Commissioner, Ron has more than 30 years of experience working in law enforcement and protecting our nation,” Secretary Nielsen said in a statement. “Deputy Commissioner Vitiello brings to ICE the vision and leadership needed to continue the exceptional work the agency is doing to accomplish its crucial national security and public safety missions.”

The incoming ICE director patroled the U.S.-Mexico border in 1985 and has worked as a law enforcement officer for over three decades.

Vitiello assumed his new role amid nationwide protests against the Trump administrations’ immigration policies. More than 700 demonstrations are taking place over the weekend, with tens of thousands of protesters demanding separated immigrant minors be reunited with their border jumping parents.

Nielsen praised Homan in her statement for his long and distinguished career in law enforcement.

“Acting Director Homan will be greatly missed in his well-earned (second) retirement,” Nielsen said in her statement. “We wish Tom and his family all the best and know they will remain part of the DHS family.”

Homan announced April 30 that he would be leaving government after more than 30 decades of service.

“It has been the honor of my life to lead the men and women of ICE for more than a year,” Homan said in a statement. “The decision to leave federal service after more than 34 years is bittersweet, but my family has sacrificed a lot in order for me to serve and it’s time for me to focus on them.”

“I am humbled and inspired by the 20,000 American patriots who serve this agency and protect our nation, increasingly in the face of unfair and false criticism from politicians and the media,” he added.

“Homan planned to retire from ICE in January 2017, an ICE official told Breitbart Texas. However, then-Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly asked the immigration enforcement officer to stay on and accept an interim position as head of the agency until they could find a replacement,” reported Breitbart Texas’ Bob Price.

President Donald Trump on Saturday praised ICE agents as some of the “smartest, toughest and most spirited,” law enforcement officers in the United States and criticized Democratic lawmakers calling for the agency’s abolishment.

“The Democrats are making a strong push to abolish ICE, one of the smartest, toughest and most spirited law enforcement groups of men and women that I have ever seen,” President Trump tweeted. “I have watched ICE liberate towns from the grasp of MS-13 & clean out the toughest of situations. They are great!”

President Trump later vowed to protect the agency from being dismantled.

“To the great and brave men and women of ICE, do not worry or lose your spirit. You are doing a fantastic job of keeping us safe by eradicating the worst criminal elements,” he tweeted. “So brave! The radical left Dems want you out. Next it will be all police. Zero chance, It will never happen!”



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