Feb. 1 (UPI) — The Trump administration appointed Ronald D. Vitiello, a border patrol veteran for over 30 years, to serve as U.S. Border Patrol chief, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan said.
Vitiello will assume the role effective Wednesday. He began his career in Laredo, Texas, as a Border Patrol agent in 1985.
“Chief Vitiello is uniquely qualified for this important senior executive leadership post — which is equivalent to an executive assistant commissioner position,” McAleenan said in a statement. “Chief Vitiello is an exceptional leader who has dedicated more than 30 years of service to our nation.”
Vitiello replaces former Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan, who was asked to resign last week by McAleenan. President Donald Trump last Wednesday signed executive action directing the Department of Homeland Security to begin construction of a border wall with Mexico, to repair existing areas of fencing along the border and to increase U.S. Customs and Border protection staff by 5,000.