Biden Administration Appoints New Border Patrol Chief, Replacing Raul Ortiz

The Department of Homeland Security announced on Friday that it would replace the departing Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz with the current Del Rio Sector head.

DHS announced that Jason Owens will replace Ortiz, the current Del Rio Sector Border Patrol Chief, after Ortiz’s retirement on June 30, 2016.

Owens, who has worked for the Border Patrol for over 25 years, takes on the new position at a time when apprehensions have dropped in the wake of the expiration of the Title 42 Public Health Order — though officials are cautious about whether this situation will last in the long term.

Pete Flores, Executive Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Field Operations, and acting Deputy Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Benjamine Huffman have been announced as his successors.

Owens was described by the DHS chief as a “talented leader, who is selfless and inspirational, who is committed to the Border Patrol law enforcement mission and its men and women, and to the country we all serve.”

He said: “I’ve worked with Chief Owens. I am inspired by the commitment he has to his mission and grateful for his continued leadership in this new role.”

Ortiz ended his tenure in office after leading Border Patrol through its busiest month in history, as the agency faced a historic migration crisis that entered its third year.

He also said that sectors were overwhelmed and in response to questions he answered, the agency did not have “operational controls” at the border. DHS officials noted that the definition of operational control – where there are no illegal crossings – has never been achieved.

Ortiz’s departure coincides with the departure of Tae Johnson, acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

CBP is led by the acting Commissioner Troy Miller. Chris Magnus was briefly appointed as then-Commissioner but resigned later after a clash with senior DHS officials.