Border Patrol chief, who supported wall, is leaving job


US President Donald Trump holds up a poster of before and after photos of a segment of the border wall prototypes with Chief Patrol Agent Rodney S. Scott in San Diego, California on March 13, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN / ALTERNATIVE CROP (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

CALEXICO, Calif. (AP) — The chief of the Border Patrol said Wednesday he was leaving his job after less than two years in a position that lies in the crosshairs of polarizing political debate.

Rodney Scott wrote to agents that he will be reassigned.

“I will continue working hard to support you over the next several weeks to ensure a smooth transition,” he wrote.

Scott, a career agent, was appointed chief in January 2020 and enthusiastically embraced then-President Donald Trump’s policies, particularly on building a border wall. President Joe Biden has canceled wall construction, one of his predecessor’s top priorities.

The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Scott didn’t immediately respond to a text message.

Scott was raised in Nogales, Arizona, where his father commuted to work at a Mexican factory. He previously led the agency’s San Diego sector, where he spent much of his career.

He became an agent when San Diego was by far the busiest corridor for illegal crossings. Traffic plummeted after the Clinton administration boosted enforcement in San Diego. But critics note the effort pushed people to remote parts of California and Arizona, where thousands have died in heat.

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