April 10 (UPI) -- Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Ron Vitiello resigned Wednesday, days after President Donald Trump withdrew his nomination to permanently head the agency.
"During his tenure leading ICE, Ron has been an unwavering advocate for the dedicated men and women who enforce our immigration laws and protect our nation from the illegal entry of drugs, human trafficking, transnational criminals, counterfeit goods, and so much more," Nielsen said. "On behalf of DHS I want to thank Ron for his service and dedication, and I wish him the very best in this next chapter of his career."
Trump withdrew Vitiello's nomination to lead ICE on Friday, telling reporters he wants to go in a "different direction."
"Ron's a good man. But we're going in a tougher direction. We want to go in a tougher direction," the president said.
Vitiello has served as acting director of the agency since June, when former Acting Director Thomas Homan retired. Trump nominated Vitiello to permanently lead ICE in August.
Vitiello, who began his career in Laredo, Texas, has more than 30 years of experience working in law enforcement. Trump has yet to announce a new acting director of ICE.
Vitiello's resignation comes amid a flurry of departures from DHS agencies, including that of Claire Grady, acting deputy secretary of DHS, and Secret Service Director Randolph "Tex" Allen.