President Donald Trump on Friday nominated John C. Bennett as acting attorney general for the Department of Homeland Security to oversee the border security effort, replacing Robert Lighthizer, who resigned in September.
Bennett, 61, has been the head of the Department for Homeland Security since 2011, a senior post he held for five years.
He was a senior attorney in the Office of Legal Counsel during the Bush administration, serving as chief deputy to former President George W. Bush.
In the post-9/11 era, Bennett has been a vocal advocate for securing the border, especially in light of the rise of so-called “sanctuary cities” that refuse to cooperate with federal authorities in detaining and deporting illegal immigrants.
The Justice Department, however, has not been aggressive in pursuing such detentions.
In his confirmation hearing on Wednesday, Bennett said he would continue the Justice Department’s aggressive crackdowns on illegal immigration, but that he would not be enforcing the laws of the United States.