Former San Diego Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott / Photo courtesy of Jay Yoo for NBC 7

This post originally appeared in the Jan. 27 Morning Report. Get the Morning Report delivered to your inbox.

The Trump administration has tapped the former chief of San Diego’s Border Patrol sector, Rodney Scott, to oversee the larger Border Patrol effort, the Associated Press reports.

Scott was chief of the San Diego sector up until roughly a year ago when he was transferred to Washington, D.C. Before coming to San Diego, Scott was chief of the El Centro sector. While in San Diego, he oversaw some of the administration’s most controversial moments.

In 2018, he led President Donald Trump and other Department of Homeland Security officials on a tour of the border wall prototypes in Otay Mesa, telling the officials about the en masse border crossings that happened in the 1990s, before the first border fencing was put in place, the Union-Tribune reported at the time.

Scott was also in charge in San Diego when former Attorney General Jeff Sessions decided to try to prosecute every adult who crossed the border illegally, which led to a surge in family separations and brought Operation Streamline, the separate court system for illegal entry misdemeanors, to San Diego’s federal government.

He was chief when the large migrant caravans of 2018 came to Tijuana, and he defended the Border Patrol agents who fired tear gas into Mexico because agents, he said, were being assaulted with “a hail of rocks,” the Associated Press reported.

Scott also made the controversial decision in November 2018 to change rules at Friendship Park, where families split by the border could come to converse and “pinky kiss” through a metal fence and even hug during periodic “door openings.” In November, the U-T reported, a surprise wedding ceremony between a Mexican woman and a U.S. man who turned out to have a drug smuggling conviction called Border Patrol’s background checks into question.

Maya Srikrishnan

Maya was Voice of San Diego’s Associate Editor of Civic Education. She reported on marginalized communities in San Diego and oversees Voice’s explanatory...

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