A 29-year veteran of federal law enforcement is being pushed aside by the Biden administration, according to a new report.
Robert Perez, the deputy commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, will be retiring from the agency after political appointees wanted to shunt him aside, according to a report from the Washington Examiner.
Perez was promoted to his current position in Washington, D.C., in July 2018 — during the Trump administration.
The Examiner reported “Biden officials attempted to demote Perez” by “transferring him to an office in Tucson, Arizona.” The Examiner cited two people with “firsthand knowledge” of the situation.
The report said that Troy Miller, who has been the senior official performing the duties of the commissioner since President Joe Biden took office, will move into the deputy commissioner slot once Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus, Biden’s nominee, is confirmed by the Senate as the new CBP commissioner.
The Examiner noted Miller “was expected to be a temporary fill-in at headquarters but has carried out the Biden administration’s changes to immigration policies, even rolling out a memo to employees that instructed them to stop using terms such as ‘illegal alien’ and instead to use more inclusive language.”
The report said that, according to government rules, senior executive officials cannot be fired or moved out of their jobs within the first 120 days of a new administration. Changes that would impact Perez would reportedly take place around May 20.
Before his current job, Perez was the Executive Assistant Commissioner for Operations Support, where, according to his official biography, “he provided oversight and executive direction to experts, analysts, and innovators in CBP’s offices of intelligence, international affairs, planning and requirements development, incident coordination, laboratories and scientific services, and law enforcement safety and compliance.”
Prior to that, Perez was the Director of Field Operations at CBP’s New York office. That appointment followed a similar post in Detroit.
Perez was the first Director of the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism in Washington, D.C., from 2002 to 2005. He began his career as a customs inspector in Newark, New Jersey, in 1992 and later moved up to be a Program Manager at CBP headquarters from 1997 to 2001.
The Biden administration has made vast changes in how CBP operates, which has resulted in pushback from Border Patrol agents.
Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council — the labor union that represents most Border Patrol agents — criticized Biden on Wednesday, according to Reuters.
“I can confidently say that President Biden owns this crisis,” Judd said, referring to the increase in illegal immigration the U.S. has seen at the southern border in recent months. “It is his fault.”
Rosemarie Pepperdine, a Border Patrol agent who works in Casa Grande, Arizona, said she is among many planning to retire early.
“We have so many people coming across, and then we’re out there killing ourselves to catch them, rescue them or whatever it is, and then they’re being released,” she said. “Why even bother?”
Gil Maza, a former agent who retired in March, is making money off of the gallows humor he says now exists among agents.
Maza runs a website where he hawks an unofficial coin that makes the Border Patrol logo read “U.S. Welcome Patrol.”
“It sheds a little humor on the situation,” Maza, who claimed he had sold 78 of the coins in four days to agents, said. “And it’s something that helps us, I guess, mentally and emotionally cope with the situation because especially right now, the situation is pretty dire out there.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.