CBP Appoints Scott Luck US Border Patrol’s Deputy Chief

WASHINGTON — Scott Luck, a New York native and 32-year veteran of the U.S. Border Patrol, was named the agency’s deputy chief Monday.

Luck served as the acting deputy chief since April 2017 while maintaining the role of chief of the Law Enforcement Operations Directorate at the Border Patrol Headquarters in D.C., a position he held since 2014.

“I am deeply honored for the privilege to serve as deputy chief of the U.S. Border Patrol, and I look forward to supporting the hard working men and women who protect our country,” he said.

Commissioner Kevin McAleenan and Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost made the official announcement just two weeks after Provost’s appointment as the first female head of the Border Patrol.

Luck began official duty May 19, 1986, as a member of Border Patrol Academy Class 195. His first assignment as an agent was at the Douglas Station in the Tucson Sector where he moved up the ranks, ultimately attaining the position of field operations supervisor. In 2000, he was promoted to assistant patrol agent in charge of the Santa Teresa Station in the El Paso Sector.

Luck advanced to assistant chief patrol agent at the Border Patrol Academy in 2003, where he was subsequently promoted to deputy chief patrol agent and finally to chief patrol agent in 2008. During his tenure as academy chief, he was instrumental in training 6,000 new agents in a two-year period and he developed and implemented the second Pre-employment Fitness Test for all prospective agents, considerably reducing attrition at the academy.

In 2011, Luck joined the Senior Executive Service and assumed command of the El Paso Border Patrol Sector as chief patrol agent.

Luck holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Syracuse University, and is a graduate of the Senior Executive Fellows Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is a 2012 graduate of the National Defense University Capstone and a 2015 graduate of the FBI’s National Executive Institute.

Trump Pushes for Broader Support of CBP, ICE Before Wall Funding Showdown

The White House, the Department of Homeland Security and some members of Congress presented a unified front supporting Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel as the agencies have faced criticism over enforcement of the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policies.

The Monday event in the East Room of the White House included about 150 CBP, ICE and law enforcement officers along with DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, Acting ICE Director Ronald Vitiello, and officials representing border jurisdictions.

CBP Agent Adrian Anzaldua related how on Aug. 11, with the alert of a CBP canine, he discovered 78 illegal immigrants inside a locked refrigerated truck north of Laredo, Texas. “I quickly asked for backup, and backup got there, and the subjects were transported back to the checkpoint, and all of them were in good health,” he said.

Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Derek Bergman led Operation Matador, a joint operation focused on MS-13 and other transnational gangs on Long Island, the New York City metropolitan area and the Hudson Valley.

“The response started, really, with the leadership that supported us and was able to allow us to go out there and do what we had to do,” Bergman said. “And it really speaks to the collaborative effort that we have with our state and local partners and other federal agencies, that everybody was able to get together and assist each other in different facets of the operation. And hopefully, we were able to make a difference in the communities, because that’s ultimately why were doing it, was to make those neighborhoods safe for the people that inhabit them.”

President Trump recognized the families of fallen CBP officers Luis Aguilar, Nicolas Ivie, Rogelio Martinez, and Brian Terry, and unveiled a letter he sent to state and local leaders asking them to publicly express support for ICE and CBP and to cooperate with “both organizations in removing dangerous criminal aliens from our communities.”

“Tragically, the brave men and women of ICE have recently been subjected to a nationwide campaign of smears, insults, and attacks by politicians shamelessly catering to the extreme elements in our society that desire lawlessness and anarchy,” Trump wrote, segueing from anti-ICE protests to the 9/11 attacks “carried out by foreign nationals who exploited our lax immigration laws and defrauded our immigration system in order to murder nearly 3,000 innocent people.”

The White House said that the letter, which began with the general salutation “Dear America’s State and Local Leaders,” was sent to governors, lieutenant governors, state attorneys general, mayors, state legislators, and county sheriffs.

DHS also sent out fact sheets on “the life saving missions” of ICE and CBP.

At the event, Trump charged that “a coalition of open borders extremists … people that don’t mind crime” have “waged an unprecedented assault on American law enforcement” — protesters, he said, who “have no guts; they just have big, loud mouths, and we don’t want to put up with that.”

Trump then veered into a campaign speech, predicting that “we’re going to have much more of a red wave than you’re going to see as a phony blue wave” because “blue wave means crime.”

Vice President Mike Pence discussed his trips to the border to visit with agents in Texas and California. “I know that you make an extraordinary difference in the life of our nation and for the safety and security of our people.  Last year, CBP accounted for more than 310,000 apprehensions at our borders, including more than 8,100 dangerous criminals,” he said. “…To all of the members of law enforcement here, be confident that you have the support of the overwhelming majority of the American people.”

The White House event coincided with an administration push for $5 billion in border wall funding from Congress; the Senate version of the Homeland Security bill includes $1.6 billion in funding, and may be punted to after midterm elections to avoid the timing of a showdown not just with Democrats but between Republicans.

Trump has gone back and forth between threatening to shut down the government at the end of September over border wall funding and then saying he’s open to negotiations.