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Secretary Nielsen Announces Ronald D. Vitiello to Serve as Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Release Date: 
June 30, 2018

Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen announced that Ronald D. Vitiello will serve as Deputy Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), effective Saturday, June 30. He will also take on the role as the Acting Director of ICE. Vitiello currently serves as the Acting Deputy Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Secretary Nielsen’s message to all DHS employees announcing Deputy Commissioner Vitiello’s new position is below.

Message from Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen Announcing Ronald D. Vitiello to Serve as the Acting Director of ICE

I am pleased to announce that Ronald D. Vitiello has been named the Deputy Director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), effective Saturday, June 30. As of today he will also take on the role as the Acting Director of U.S. ICE.  

As U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Deputy Commissioner, Ron has more than 30 years of experience working in law enforcement and protecting our nation. 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.

Deputy Commissioner Vitiello began his career in Laredo, Texas, entering on duty as a U.S. Border Patrol agent in 1985, a member of Class 174.

Throughout his career, he has held numerous leadership positions, participated in Special Response Team operations and was instrumental in formulating the Laredo Sector Criminal Alien Program. He also oversaw the regional implementation of Operation Rio Grande in 1997.

Deputy Commissioner Vitiello played a key role in standing up CBP as our nation’s unified border agency in 2003, having been assigned to the Operations Division of the former DHS Border and Transportation Security Directorate. He transferred to CBP headquarters in 2010 when he was named Deputy Chief of the Border Patrol.

He was named Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol in February 2017 and was selected to serve as CBP’s Acting Deputy Commissioner later that same year.

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.

At the same time, we must bid farewell to the current Acting Director of ICE, Tom Homan. Acting Director Homan has been a part of the DHS community since he entered on duty as a Border Patrol Agent more than 30 years ago.  

Under his exceptional leadership, the men and women of ICE have made significant progress in restoring the rule of law to our immigration system and countering criminals such as human smugglers and those attempting to exploit children.  This past year has seen arrests increase by 40 percent, interior removals increase by 30 percent, and the highest number of MS-13 arrests since 2008. Additionally in 2017, ICE seized approximately 7,000 pounds of heroin and more than 2,300 pounds of fentanyl. Employee morale also rose to its highest level since 2010, due in large part to Acting Director Homan’s passionate leadership. In recognition of his exceptional service, Tom was honored with the 2015 Presidential Rank Award and more recently, with the 2018 Law Enforcement Leader of the Year award from the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association. His faithful, professional, and tireless dedication to ICE and our nation has been a model of excellence for us all.

Acting Director Homan will be greatly missed in his well-earned (second) retirement. We wish Tom and his family all the best and know they will remain part of the DHS family.

Please join me in thanking Acting Director Homan for his service, and in congratulating Deputy Commissioner Vitiello on his new position.

Best regards,

Kirstjen M. Nielsen
Secretary of Homeland Security

With honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values.

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Last Published Date: July 2, 2018
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