Mark A. Morgan is an American law enforcement officer who has served as the Chief Operating Officer and acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection since July 5, 2019.

Mark Morgan
Official Portrait of Acting Commissioner Mark A. Morgan (48242367472).jpg
Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Assumed office
July 5, 2019
PresidentDonald Trump
DeputyRobert Perez
Preceded byJohn P. Sanders (acting)
Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
In office
May 28, 2019 – July 5, 2019
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byMatthew Albence (acting)
Succeeded byMatthew Albence (acting)
Chief of the United States Border Patrol
In office
October 12, 2016 – January 26, 2017
PresidentBarack Obama
Donald Trump
Preceded byRonald Vitiello (acting)
Succeeded byRonald Vitiello
Personal details
EducationUniversity of Central Missouri (BS)
University of Missouri–Kansas City (JD)
Military service
AllegianceUnited States United States of America
Branch/serviceSeal of the United States Marine Corps.svg United States Marine Corps

Morgan had a long career in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, culminating in appointments as head of the Inspection Division and Training Division. He then served as chief of the United States Border Patrol under President Barack Obama as the first person to be appointed to that post from outside the border Patrol; he resigned a few days after the inauguration of President Donald Trump. Morgan returned to government when was announced as Trump's pick to be acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), where he served from May 28, 2019 until he moved to Customs and Border Protection.

Education and early careerEdit

Morgan was born in 1964 or 1965.[1] Morgan received a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from Central Missouri State University.[2] He joined the United States Marine Corps at the age of 19,[3] and served active duty and reserve for a total of 10 years.[2]

He received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Missouri–Kansas City, serving as a Deputy Sheriff with the Platte County, Missouri, Sheriff's Department, and in the Marine Corps Reserve concurrently with his studies.[2][3] After finishing his law degree, he attended the Los Angeles Police Department Academy[3] and served as a police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department.[2][3]

FBI careerEdit

Morgan as FBI Academy head in 2015

Morgan entered on duty as a Special Agent in 1996 and was assigned to the Los Angeles Field Office.  While there, he was a member of the Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force, the Crisis Response Squad, and the Special Weapons and Tactics Team. In 2002, Morgan became a Supervisory Special Agent and served as a Crisis Management Coordinator in the Crisis Management Unit in the Critical Incident Response Group. In 2005, Morgan returned to Los Angeles, where he supervised an FBI-led Hispanic Gang Task Force that focused on the MS-13, and 18th Street gangs. While in Los Angeles, he also supervised the Critical Incident Response Squad, which had administrative and operational oversight of the division’s critical incident response resources.[2][3]

Morgan in 2007 became Assistant Section Chief of the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime Branch, where he managed the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Units and the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program. In 2008, he became the FBI’s Deputy On-Scene Commander in Baghdad, Iraq, where he was responsible for all FBI personnel deployed to Iraq under the auspices of the Counterterrorism Division.[2] This was his first deployment to a war zone.[3]

In 2009, Morgan was assigned as Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Field Office. In 2010, Morgan became Chief of the FBI Strategic Information and Operations Center.[2] From 2011 to 2013, Morgan served as the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI El Paso Division.[2][3]

During 2013–2014, Morgan served as Deputy Assistant Director for the FBI’s Inspection Division, which performs compliance and oversight of all FBI operations. In 2014, Morgan served on a detail to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in the Department of Homeland Security as the Acting Assistant Commissioner for Internal Affairs.  In this role, he oversaw the investigation of criminal and serious administrative misconduct by the CBP workforce.[2] Morgan was assigned to this position after the previous Assistant Commissioner, James F. Tomsheck, was removed for failing to investigate allegations of inappropriate use of force by border agents, and CBP head Gil Kerlikowske took the unusual step of requesting an interim appointment from outside the agency to pursue investigations more aggressively.[4]

In 2014, he was appointed as FBI Assistant Director for the Training Division in Quantico, Virginia, with responsibility for overseeing policy development and delivery of all law enforcement skills and academic programs for the FBI workforce.[2][3]

Department of Homeland SecurityEdit

Chief of U.S. Border PatrolEdit

Morgan in September 2016

In June 2016, he was named as the next chief of the U.S. Border Patrol by the Obama administration, and took command in July.[5] Morgan was the first Chief of the Border Patrol to come from outside the agency, and was intended to be a reformer and increase accountability. The appointment was opposed by the Border Patrol's union, the National Border Patrol Council. His decision to wear the Border Patrol uniform was met with some opposition, as he had never been a Border Patrol officer.[1]

On December 1, 2016, Morgan stated in a Senate hearing that he supported a comprehensive immigration overhaul, which was met with strenuous criticism from the National Border Patrol Council. Morgan subsequently clarified that he did not support "blanket amnesty".[6][7]

On January 26, 2017, just days after President Donald Trump took office, he was forced to resign.[6] He had reportedly desired to stay in his post during the Trump administration, internally criticizing the immigration enforcement policies of the Obama administration after the election.[8]

Gap in government serviceEdit

In January 2019, Morgan said that he could determine if an unaccompanied minor would become a member of MS-13, a transnational crime gang known for gruesome violence, just by looking at their eyes.[9]

Acting Director of Immigration and Customs EnforcementEdit

At the end of April 2019, it was reported that Trump was considering Morgan to take over as head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The agency's former acting director, Ronald Vitiello, resigned earlier in April after Trump pulled his nomination for the director's job, telling reporters that he wanted to go with someone "tougher" instead.[10]

On May 5, Trump announced on Twitter that he had chosen Morgan to become the next director of ICE.[11] The Washington Post reported that the announcement "caught White House aides and Homeland Security officials by surprise. They had not been informed Morgan was Trump’s choice, and at ICE, senior leaders learned of the decision from the president’s tweet, according to two senior administration officials."[12] Matthew Albence, who had been acting director of ICE since April 2019 and was previously acting deputy director of the agency, continued in that role until Morgan was formally named acting director on May 28, 2019.[13][14]

He was formally appointed to a newly-created position as Principal Deputy Director that outranked the preexisting Deputy Director position. This was criticized as avoiding Senate scrutiny for this position through the normal confirmation process.[15]

Acting Customs and Border Protection CommissionerEdit

On June 27, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security announced that Morgan would become the acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, replacing John Sanders, who had announced his resignation. On July 5, 2019, Morgan became acting commissioner.[16][17] His formal appointment was as Chief Operating Officer of the agency.[18]


  1. ^ a b Bennett, Brian (October 21, 2016). "An outsider takes charge of the Border Patrol — and yes, he'll wear the green uniform". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Acting Commissioner Mark A. Morgan". U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Retrieved October 18, 2019.   This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "To Protect and Serve". UMKC Alumni Association. 2016. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  4. ^ "Border agency removes its own chief of internal affairs". Los Angeles Times. June 10, 2014. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  5. ^ "Swearing-In Ceremony United States for Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan | U.S. Customs and Border Protection". Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  6. ^ a b Spagat, Elliot; Caldwell, Alicia A. (January 26, 2017). "AP source: Border Patrol chief says he's been forced out". AP News. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  7. ^ "Mark Morgan, Border Patrol chief, out a day after Trump border wall decree". CBS News. January 26, 2017. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  8. ^ Nixon, Ron (January 26, 2017). "Border Patrol Chief, an Agency Outsider, Is Stepping Down". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  9. ^ Hesson, Ted. "Trump's pick for ICE director: I can tell which migrant children will become gang members by looking into their eyes". Politico. Retrieved May 16, 2019.
  10. ^ "White House Considering Obama-Era Official for Immigration Job, Sources Say". May 4, 2019. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  11. ^ "Trump says Morgan, backer of border wall, to head U.S. immigration..." Reuters. May 5, 2019. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  12. ^ Miroff, Nick; Harris, Shane; Dawsey, Josh (May 5, 2019). "Trump taps Mark Morgan, former Obama official who supports border wall, to head ICE". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  13. ^ Aleaziz, Hamed (April 11, 2019). "An ICE Official Who Said Detention Was "More Like Summer Camp" Will Now Lead The Agency". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved May 6, 2019.
  14. ^ Sands, Geneva; Kelly, Caroline (May 28, 2019). "Mark Morgan takes over as acting director of ICE". CNN. Retrieved June 15, 2019. Mark Morgan, who President Donald Trump announced earlier this month would lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement, took over as acting director of the agency on Tuesday, according to an announcement by acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan.
  15. ^ Hesson, Ted (June 10, 2019). "Cuccinelli starts as acting immigration official despite GOP opposition". Politico. Retrieved October 18, 2019.
  16. ^ Radnofsky, Louise (June 27, 2019). "Mark Morgan Named New Acting Chief of Customs and Border Protection". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  17. ^ Klar, Rebecca (June 27, 2019). "Mark Morgan named new acting chief of Customs and Border Protection". The Hill. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  18. ^ "Leadership". U.S. Department of Homeland Security. October 3, 2019. Retrieved October 19, 2019.