(Nelson Balido — Security Debrief)
Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin last Thursday announced his resignation effective December 30. For folks who monitor border trade and security issues, this wasn’t exactly a surprise. But it was still a disappointment.
In March 2010, President Obama appointed Mr. Bersin CBP commissioner through a recess appointment (when Congress was out of session). This was a case of the president having grown tired of the Senate Finance Committee’s failure to do its job and act on the president’s formal nomination of Mr. Bersin to lead an agency that is critical to the country’s security and economic health.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus convened his committee in May 2010 to consider the Bersin nomination. Unfortunately, very little of the hearing focused on Mr. Bersin’s qualifications and the pressing need to confirm the president’s nomination for an agency that, as Sen. Baucus said in his opening remarks, “is the face of America.” [...]
While I’m disappointed that Mr. Bersin didn’t get a chance to continue as commissioner, it would not be accurate to say that the trade community is saddled with a consolation prize. It’s just the opposite.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano made the right choice in naming deputy commissioner David Aguilar as the new acting commissioner and Tom Winkowski, who currently heads CBP’s field operations, as the acting deputy commissioner. Read more here.
Date: December 27, 2011