The Trump administration has replaced Daniel Ragsdale, the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – a holdover from the Obama administration – with Thomas Homan on Monday night (30 January).
According to reports, no reason was given for the replacement, which was announced just an hour after another Obama appointee, acting Attorney General Sally Yates was fired for not defending the travel ban on citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Ragsdale would remain in his full time position as deputy director of ICE.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly in a statement said that Homan will help "ensure that we enforce our immigration laws in the interior of the United States consistent with the national interest".
Kelly further said: "Since 2013, Mr Homan has served as the executive associate director of ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). In this capacity, he led ICE's efforts to identify, arrest, detain, and remove illegal aliens, including those who present a danger to national security or are a risk to public safety, as well as those who enter the United States illegally or otherwise undermine the integrity of our immigration laws and our border control efforts.''
"I look forward to working alongside him to ensure that we enforce our immigration laws in the interior of the United States consistent with the national interest.''
Ragsdale, a lawyer, had been serving as the deputy director of the agency since 2012 and assumed the role of acting director on Inauguration Day. According to his official White House biography, he has provided legal advice to ICE's law enforcement programmes.