Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner John Sanders is resigning, he said in a message sent to agency employees Tuesday, amid the dramatic increase in the number of undocumented migrants crossing the border and a fight over how to address it.
"Although I will leave it to you to determine whether I was successful, I can unequivocally say that helping support the amazing men and women of CBP has been the most fulfilling and satisfying opportunity of my career," Sander writes. His resignation is effective July 5.
Sanders assumed the post after Kevin McAleenan, the former commissioner, moved up to fill the role of acting Department of Homeland Security secretary in the wake of Kirstjen Nielsen's ouster this spring. In his role, Sanders has overseen the agency charged with protecting the nation's border at a time when illegal crossings have hit record levels.
Last week President Donald Trump called off planned raids by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, saying deportations would proceed unless Congress finds a solution on the US-Mexico border within two weeks.
Sanders did not provide a reason for his departure.
Read Sanders's letter here:
As some of you are aware, yesterday I offered my resignation to Secretary McAleenan, effective Friday, July 5. In that letter, I quoted a wise man who said to me, "each man will judge their success by their own metrics." Although I will leave it to you to determine whether I was successful, I can unequivocally say that helping support the amazing men and women of CBP has been the most fulfilling and satisfying opportunity of my career.
I've spent a significant amount of time over the last several days reflecting on my time at CBP. When I began this journey, Commissioner McAleenan charged me with aligning the mission support organizations and accelerating his priorities. Easy enough, I thought. What I didn't appreciate at the time was how the journey would transform me professionally and personally. This transformation was due in large part to the fact that people embraced and welcomed me in a way that was new to me -- in a way that was truly special. To this day, I get choked up when speaking about it and I can't adequately express my thanks. As a result, let me simply say I will never stop defending the people and the mission for which 427 people gave their lives in the line of duty in defending. Hold your heads high with the honor and distinction that you so richly deserve.
Throughout our journey together, your determination and can-do attitude made the real difference. It allowed CBP to accomplish what others thought wasn't possible...what others weren't able to do. And even though there is uncertainty during change, there is also opportunity. I therefore encourage everyone to reflect on all that you have accomplished as a team. My hope is you build upon your accomplishments and embrace new opportunities, remain flexible, and continue to make CBP extraordinary. This is your organization...own it! Don't underestimate the power of momentum as you continue to tackle some of this country's most difficult challenges.
I will forever be honored to have served beside you. As a citizen of this great country, I thank you for your public service.
Take care of each other,