Aug. 6 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump nominated Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Ronald Vitiello to permanently head up the department Monday.
Vitiello has led the agency since late June after the retirement of former Acting Director Thomas Homan. The latter served as acting director since January 2017, when he replaced Daniel Ragsdale, whom Trump dismissed after 10 days in the post.
Vitiello, who began his career in Laredo, Texas, has more than 30 years of experience working in law enforcement.
"Deputy Commissioner Vitiello brings to ICE the vision and leadership needed to continue the exceptional work the agency is doing to accomplish its crucial national security and public safety missions," Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said at the time he took over the post. "I am pleased that ICE will continue to be led by an experienced and well-respected career law enforcement officer who will be a strong advocate for the agency's workforce."
ICE's new leader takes over during a crucial time as the agency is under scrutiny for enforcing Trump's "zero-tolerance" policies at the southern border. Some Democrats have taken to calling for the abolishment of the agency.
"Democrats want Open Borders and they want to abolish ICE, the brave men and women that are protecting our Country from some of the most vicious and dangerous people on earth!" Trump tweeted Monday. "Sorry, we can't let that happen! Also, change the rules in the Senate and approve STRONG Border Security!"