The chief of U.S. Border Patrol, Mark Morgan, left the agency on Thursday one day after President Trump signed an executive order paving the way for a wall to be built on the border with Mexico.
Morgan said he was asked to leave his post and resigned to avoid a fight over his job, the Associated Press reported, citing a U.S. official. The official was on a video conference with Morgan and senior Border Patrol agents when the outgoing chief said that he was going to comply with the request.
Morgan previously served as head of internal affairs with Customs and Border Protection and was as an agent in the FBI. He had frequently clashed with the Border Patrol Agents union, which strongly supported President Trump during the 2016 election, the AP reported.
The union was incensed when Morgan told a Senate hearing Dec. 1, in response to a question from Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., that he supported a comprehensive immigration overhaul, which is often interpreted to include a path to citizenship for people who are in the country illegally. Morgan clarified his remarks in a note to Border Patrol staff the following week.
Morgan's last day as head of the agency will reportedly be Tuesday.
His reported departure came one day after Trump signed two immigration-related executive orders, which, among other measures, called for building a wall on the southern border and stricter deportation rules for illegal immigrants.