The Biden administration has decided to give the Border Patrol a shot in the arm by dismissing the head of the agency, Rodney Scott, a highly experienced official who was appointed to the position during the Trump administration last year.
According to The New York Times, a national security official on condition of anonymity revealed that Rodney Scott will be fired and will probably be reassigned to another job.
The Biden administration’s decision comes in the midst of Kamala Harris’ first trip to the border. The vice president decided to embark on her trip just as former President Trump announced his visit to the southern border.
“Mr. Scott took the helm of the agency in February 2020, after President Donald J. Trump made it the leading edge of an aggressive crackdown on illegal immigration, putting it at the center of a highly polarized national debate over immigration policy. Given that the agency had been so tightly aligned with Mr. Trump, some officials have said it was surprising that Mr. Scott remained in the position for as long as he did,” the Times said.
Scott became known for refusing a Biden-Harris administration order to stop calling undocumented immigrants “illegal aliens.”
R. Gil Kerlikowske, a Customs and Border Protection commissioner during the Obama administration, told the Times he was happy with Rodney Scott’s dismissal because the former chief, allegedly, “politicized the Border Patrol and made some incredibly bad decisions on use of force, both in Portland and also in San Diego, using tear gas on women and children on the Mexico side of the border.”
However, in a Washington Examiner exclusive, the issue of Rodney Scott being fired for political issues and not for performance as Border Patrol chief was raised.
“Scott was given what Border Patrol agents refer to as the “three R letter,” which stands for resign, retire, or relocate,” the Examiner reported.
One of the three media sources familiar with Mr. Scott’s case said the move was not related to Scott’s performance over the past 18 months or how he has handled the surge of people coming across the southern border since President Joe Biden took office.
The move was allegedly “driven by politics, even though Scott’s position is apolitical and he is a 29-year law enforcement official at the Border Patrol,” the outlet reported.
Rodney Scott on his firing
Mr. Scott wrote in a Facebook post about his dismissal.
“I received my 3R letter today. For those unfamiliar, it is federal government jargon for the letter sent to [Senior Executive Service] level employees informing them of a directed reassignment. The recipient has three options: transfer, resign, or retire. No justification or reason is required, nor is it disciplinary,” Scott wrote.
“Just a simple needs of the service directed reassignment so the new administration can place the person they want in the position. A huge thank you to all those who have reached out, prayed and supported me and my family, especially over these last few crazy months. I remain confident that God is in control. And….. over 29 yrs is a pretty good run!”
The decision to dismiss Scott drew criticism for the Administration. For example, Chad F. Wolf, a former Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, questioned the decision via Twitter.
“Ask career employees at DHS and they will tell you that this Admin is specifically targeting career civil servants for doing their job, questioning ill-advised decisions, and speaking truth to power. Chief Scott is the ultimate professional and has served both R and D Admins.”