WASHINGTON, DC — Rodney Scott, a 27-year veteran of the U.S. Border Patrol, has been tapped as the next leader for the border security agency, a decision that was widely rumored prior to Friday’s announcement. Scott comes to the role after time in the spotlight as chief in San Diego — a region that housed President Donald Trump’s border wall prototypes and had to contend with its use of tear gas on the border.
He replaces Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost, who is expected to step down at the end of the month.
Scott ran the Border Patrol’s San Diego sector, where he was in charge during the arrival of the a migrant caravan in 2018, as well as the a widely-reported border incident in which migrants on the Mexican side rushed the border area, leading US Border Patrol agents to fire tear gas at the group.
He also recently served as the acting Deputy Border Patrol chief in recent months.
Provost oversaw the agency as it faced a surge in migrants at the southern border, severe overcrowding in the agency’s facilities, a major push from Trump to build a border wall and an investigation over “disturbing social media activity” posted in a Facebook group for current and former Border Patrol agents.
“In particular, the last 18 months have been some of the most challenging we have endured, and I would put the men and women of the Border Patrol up against any other law enforcement agency in the world,” Provost wrote in a Facebook post announcing her long planned retirement.
In July, Provost admitted that she was a member of the secret Facebook group that reportedly contained vulgar and offensive posts, announcing that she told internal investigators once she realized her involvement. Provost denied knowing of the “highly offensive and absolutely unacceptable posts” ahead of the ProPublica investigative report that first exposed the Facebook group dubbed “I’m 10-15
Provost, who was the first woman to lead the agency, took over the top job in August 2018.
“Chief Provost has served the United States Border Patrol and CBP with distinction, taking on and succeeding in challenging roles throughout her career,” former acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan told CNN this week. “She has been a strong advocate for her agents and the border security mission.”