Amid the increased number of undocumented migrants crossing the border and the outcries over the treatment of migrant children at the detention facilities, acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner John Sanders has resigned, a CBP official confirmed on Tuesday.
In a message to his colleagues, Sanders wrote, “As some of you are aware, yesterday I offered my resignation to Secretary McAleenan, effective Friday, July 5.”
“Although I will leave it to you to determine whether I was successful, I can unequivocally say that helping support the amazing men and women of CBP has been the most fulfilling and satisfying opportunity of my career.”
John Sanders’ resignation comes at a time when the Trump administration is facing scrutiny over the living conditions of detained children, who have been left with poor nutrition and minimal supervision. Earlier on Tuesday, the administration was criticized over the filthy conditions at a Border Patrol facility in Clint, Texas.
The Clint facility was severely lambasted by the lawyers, doctors and advocates, who complained of major health and hygiene issues. The officials then decided to move the children from the CBP custody.
Recently, a Trump administration official Sarah Fabian claimed that the migrant children detained in the US do not need soaps, blankets and toothbrushes. Fabian received severe backlash over social media after the video containing her controversial statements was viewed over 20 million times on Twitter.
Almost a week back, President Trump had announced that the ICE would remove the millions of undocumented migrants residing in the US. However, the president called off the raids over the weekend, stating deportations would commence once the Congress settles the US-Mexico border issue in two weeks.
As of June 1, 377,000 families and more than 60,000 unaccompanied children have been detained by the Border Patrol. Since late 2018, at least seven migrant children have died in the CBP custody.
Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Mark Morgan is expected to replace John Sanders, as per a Department of Homeland Security official. Morgan has previously served as Border Patrol chief during the Obama administration and has spent almost 20 years at the FBI.
Sanders was appointed at the post after Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned and former head of CBP Kevin McAleenan had to fill in her position. Prior to becoming the CBP Commissioner, John Sanders served as CBP’s Chief Operating Officer.
In his message to CBP employees, Sanders thanked McAleenan, saying “When I began this journey, Commissioner McAleenan charged me with aligning the mission support organizations and accelerating his priorities… To this day, I get choked up when speaking about it and I can’t adequately express my thanks.”