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huffpost – ICE interim director resigns after just a few weeks in office

SAN DIEGO (AP) – The acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the United States resigned on Wednesday, just weeks after taking over the agency that detains and deports immigrants and conducts international criminal investigations.

Jonathan Fahey gave no explanation for his abrupt departure in a brief email to employees at the end of the day, telling them that Wednesday was his last day. He was replaced by Tae Johnson, currently deputy director and now the agency’s fourth acting director since August.

“I am sincerely impressed with the professionalism and integrity with which you perform your duties each day,” he wrote in his farewell message obtained by The Associated Press. “Despite the fact that you have left your ranks, I will remain a strong supporter of this agency and its workforce, encouraging your successes and praying for your safety.”

AIC spokeswoman Jenny Burke confirmed Fahey had resigned and Johnson would replace him, but answered why. BuzzFeed News first reported the resignation.

ICE is part of the Department of Homeland Security, which has also scoured leaders under President Donald Trump. Chad Wolf resigned this week as acting secretary of a department that has not had a confirmed Senate leader since Kirstjen Nielsen was expelled in April 2019.

ICE, which has more than 20,000 employees, oversees an extensive network of immigration detention centers and carries out deportations. Its Homeland Security Investigations Unit has a broad portfolio, including child exploitation, money laundering, antiquity theft and human trafficking.

Fahey’s announcement surprised employees. He joined Homeland Security in March as a senior advisor on immigration policy after years as a federal and state attorney in Virginia.

Johnson takes the reins of ICE less than a week before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. He worked for Homeland Security and one of its predecessor agencies, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, for more than 25 years, including managerial positions in the Enforcement and Removal Operations division of the ‘ICE.

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