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Archive for February 7th, 2020

Aaron Heitke Named Chief Patrol Agent for San Diego Sector

Aaron Heitke, chief patrol agent of the San Diego Sector.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Aaron Heitke, a 22-year veteran of the Border Patrol, has been promoted to chief patrol agent of the San Diego Sector.

Heitke most recently served as the sector’s deputy chief patrol agent. In 2015, he served as the chief patrol agent for the Grand Forks Sector in North Dakota.

Heitke joined the Border Patrol in 1998, serving at the Wellton Station in the Yuma Sector. In 2004, Heitke became supervisory Border Patrol agent at the Grand Marais Station in the Grand Forks Sector and was named its Patrol Agent in Charge in 2005.

In his current role, Heitke will manage more than 2,400 agents and mission support staff and oversee the sector’s eight Border Patrol stations.

A native of Minnesota, Heitke earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He then earned a juris doctorate at the University of North Dakota School of Law. Before joining the Border Patrol, he practiced law for a short period.

Trump Administration Shrouds CBP in Secrecy by Changing Its Designation to ‘Security Agency’

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Trump administration has changed CBP’s designation to make it a “security agency,” a move that shrouds the agency in secrecy.

An internal memo signed by CBP’s Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan revealed the change in designation, which became effective Jan. 31, The Nation reports.

With added layers of secrecy, CBP has the same designation as agencies like the FBI and Secret Service.

The change allows CBP to exempt key records from being disclosed to the public.

“I am pleased to announce CBP has been designated as a Security Agency under Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) official Data Release Policy, effective immediately,” the memo states. “Previously, only frontline law enforcement, investigative, or intelligence positions held this designation. This policy change now protects all CBP employee names from subsequent responses to Freedom of Information Act requests or other public disclosures for CGP employee data.”

Government transparency advocates warned that the change would make the agency less transparent at a time when it has come under intense public scrutiny.

“It puts their employees in the same category as FBI agents,” Irvin McCullough, national security analyst with the Government Accountability Project said. “The problems we’ve seen out of our immigration agencies over the past few years show that we need more transparency, not less. Why is there such a rush to restrict this information from the public? Given their track record, the burden is on them to explain exactly why they need these restrictions.”