Acting ICE Director Tae Johnson Stepping Down 

Acting ICE Director Tae Johnson

By Steve Neavling

Acting ICE Director Tae Johnson is retiring after 30 years with the agency, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced in a statement Monday. 

“I am grateful to Tae Johnson for his service to ICE, the Department, and the nation. Mr. Johnson has been an integral member of ICE’s leadership team through multiple administrations,” Mayorkas wrote in the statement. “He has been instrumental in advancing many of DHS’s critical missions, including the enforcement of our country’s immigration laws and our work to dismantle terrorist and criminal organizations. He helped transform the organizational culture of ICE by focusing its resources on public safety and national security.”

Johnson has served as acting director since 2021, when he replaced Jonathan Fahey, who resigned just two weeks after taking the position. 

Johnson is the second high-ranking immigration official to announce his retirement in the past week. U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz said last week that he plans to retire at the end of June, less than two years after he took the helm. 

The retirements come amid a major policy shift to deter illegal crossings at the border following the expiration of Title 41, a pandemic-era public health restriction that helped turn back migrants.  

Mayorkas praised Johnson’s leadership. 

“I have personally benefitted from his frank assessments, solid judgment, and his deep expertise drawn from decades of experience,” Mayorkas said. “I offer my heartfelt congratulations to Tae for more than 31 years of dedicated service. The Department is grateful for his service and sacrifice, and that of his family who has served alongside him.”

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