Jason Owens Tapped to Lead Border Patrol During Challenging Time

Jason Owens was tapped to lead the U.S. Border Patrol. Photo: CBP

By Steve Neavling

The Biden administration selected Jason Owens, a 27-year veteran of the Border Patrol, to serve as the agency’s next chief. 

Owens, who currently leads the Border Patrol’s sector in Del Rio, Tex., will replace Raul Ortiz, who plans to retire at the end of the month. 

Owens rose through the ranks during his career, holding key leadership positions that included chief of the U.S. Border Patrol Academy, chief of the Houlton Sector, and his current assignment as chief of the Del Rio Sector. 

In a statement, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas called Owens “talented” and “selfless.”

“I am inspired by his commitment to the mission, and am grateful to him for his continued service in this new leadership role,” Mayorkas said.

CBP Acting Commissioner Troy A. Miller also praised Owens. 

“Over the course of his career, Chief Owens has demonstrated consistent dedication to our border security and homeland security missions, and to the men and women who carry out these responsibilities every day,” CBP Acting Commissioner Troy A. Miller said in a news release. “I am confident that he will ably lead the U.S. Border Patrol into its 100th year and beyond.” 

Owens will take over at a challenging time. Republicans have been hammering Biden’s administration over border crossings, and Title 41, a pandemic-era public health restriction that helped turn back migrants, has expired. 

Meanwhile, CBP announced a new leader of the Laredo Sector. Joel Martinez, who joined the Border Patrol in 1992, will serve as chief patrol agent of the sector. 

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