Acting border chief to step down amid immigration staffing shakeup

The acting head of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency will become the latest official to depart the Donald Trump administration, resigning his post as an unprecedented immigration crisis grips the southern border.

John Sanders, the acting CBP Commissioner, announced his resignation in a letter on Tuesday, shortly after media outlets reported the same.

“As some of you are aware, yesterday I offered my resignation to [Department of Homeland Security] Secretary McAleenan, effective Friday, July 5,” Sanders wrote, adding he would leave it to others to determine whether he was successful in carrying out his duties.

Sanders was elevated to run the agency when President Trump selected the prior commissioner, Kevin McAleenan, to head up the Department of Homeland Security, which itself oversees the CBP.

The resignation accompanies other personnel shakeups at US border and immigration agencies. President Trump last week tapped retired Immigration and Customs Enforcement head Thomas Homan to fill the role of “border czar,” and days earlier promoted a new director for the Citizenship and Immigration Services, Ken Cuccinelli. It remains unclear what the new “czar” position will entail, but Homan is known for his loud support of the president’s more restrictive immigration proposals.

In recent months, the US border with Mexico has seen a dramatic upsurge in undocumented migrants seeking to enter the United States, many with families in tow, while crowded and unhygienic conditions at overwhelmed migrant detention centers have prompted fierce criticism of federal agencies tasked with managing the border. Some Democratic lawmakers have sparked controversy by comparing the detention centers to Nazi concentration camps, and Democrats in both houses have moved to block funding for the president’s border wall project.