McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — Jason Owens, who headed the Del Rio Sector of the Border Patrol in South Texas, has been named the new U.S. Border Patrol Chief, the Department of Homeland Security said Friday.
Owens replaces Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz who headed the department for 22 months before announcing his retirement last month.
Owens is a 27-year veteran of law enforcement, who served almost 20 years as an officer with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, according to his LinkedIn account. He has held numerous posts within CBP and has headed the Del Rio Sector since November 2021. He also has been chief patrol agent in charge of the U.S. Border Patrol Academy in Artesia, New Mexico, where agents are trained. He has worked in several border locations, including McAllen; El Paso; Laredo, Texas; Calexico, California, and North Dakota.
“I am proud to welcome Border Patrol Sector Chief Jason Owens as our 26th Chief of the United States Border Patrol. Chief Owens is a talented, selfless, and inspiring leader who is dedicated to the Border Patrol’s law enforcement mission, the men and women who fulfill it, and the country that we all serve. I have worked with Chief Owens; I am inspired by his commitment to the mission, and am grateful to him for his continued service in this new leadership role,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Deputy Commissioner Benjamine “Carry” Huffman also is stepping down and will be replaced by Pete Flores, who will work under CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller.
“Acting Deputy Commissioner Huffman and Chief Ortiz embody the ideals of public service. They have dedicated their careers to the safety and security of the American people and the betterment of the great CBP for which they have sacrificed so much. Their legacy of service is enduring and will forever be a part of the fabric of the entire Department of Homeland Security. Their legacy includes the many men and women whom they have inspired to serve and lead with honor and integrity. I congratulate them on their retirement and am profoundly grateful to them for everything they have done,” Mayorkas said.
Ortiz served as the chief patrol agent for the Rio Grande Valley Sector for several years, from 2013 to 2019, at a time when there was an uptick in asylum seekers crossing into South Texas.
On Monday, DHS announced the retirement of Tae Johnson, the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
“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 said in a statement.