Max Greenwood, The Hill, May 24, 2018
President Trump has tapped a fierce critic of illegal immigration for the State Department’s top position overseeing refugees and migration.
The White House announced on Thursday that Ronald Mortensen, a former foreign service officer, has been nominated to serve as assistant secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration.
Mortensen, who supported Trump on the campaign trail, is a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, a nonprofit group that advocates for significantly reducing immigration in the U.S.
In addition to his fellowship at the Center for Immigration Studies, Mortensen also founded the Utah Coalition on Illegal Immigration, a group that advocates for “concrete action” to address illegal immigration.
In a statement issued at the time of the group’s founding, Mortensen said that the U.S. had a responsibility to admit immigrants who go through the proper legal channels, while blocking those who try to skirt the law.
Mortensen has also written dozens of op-eds for publications, including The Hill, decrying illegal immigration and claiming that most undocumented immigrants commit crimes by using fraudulent documents in the U.S.
He also vehemently opposed former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which temporarily shielded certain young undocumented immigrants from deportation and gave them permission to work in the U.S. Trump rescinded that program in September.
In an October 2017 blog post, Mortensen demanded that DACA recipients be forced to disclose Social Security numbers they may have used prior to the program’s implementation in 2012.