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Name: Aguilar, David
Current Position: Former Commissioner

Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection: Who Is David Aguilar?

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which is the largest uniformed, federal law enforcement agency in the country, has a new leader. David V. Aguilar, who has worked on border enforcement for more than thirty-three years, has been named CBP Acting Commissioner in the wake of the refusal of Senate Republicans to hold a hearing on President Obama’s nomination of Alan Bersin to the post. Effective January 1, 2012, Aguilar will be in charge of more than 20,000 uniformed agents.
Born in December 1955 near Rio Grande City, Texas, Aguilar earned an Associate Degree in Accounting at Laredo Community College, and attended Laredo State University and the University of Texas at Arlington. He is also a graduate of the John F. Kennedy School of Government Senior Executive Fellows Spring Class of 1999.
Aguilar joined the United States Border Patrol in June 1978 at Laredo, Texas, where he served as first line supervisor, Assistant Patrol Agent in Charge and Patrol Agent in Charge. From January 1988 to August 1996, Aguilar served as Patrol Agent in Charge of three Border Patrol Stations in Texas: Dallas (1988-1992), Rio Grande Valley (1992-1995) and Brownsville (July 1995-August 1996), which was the largest Border Patrol Station in the Central Region.
From August 1996 to November 1999, Aguilar served as Assistant Regional Director for the Border Patrol in the Central Region of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). From December 1999 to June 2004, he was the Chief Patrol Agent of the Tucson Sector, where he had more than 2,000 Border Patrol Agents and over 200 support personnel under his command, spread out over eight geographically dispersed Border Patrol Stations along 261 miles of the Arizona/Mexico border. The year 2004 was a banner one for Aguilar: in March he was designated as the Border and Transportation Security Integrator for Arizona Border Control Initiative, and on July 1, he took over as Chief of the United States Border Patrol, in charge of more than 12,000 Border Patrol Agents nationwide. He was also elected President of the Southern Arizona Federal Executive Association.
As Border Patrol Chief, Aguilar became the target of the anger of the National Border Patrol Council (the union representing border patrol officers), which passed a resolution of “no-confidence” in him because he supported the 2007 prosecution and jury trial conviction of two border patrol agents who in 2005 had shot an unarmed illegal alien and then covered up the shooting.
After six years as Chief of the Border Patrol, Aguilar was named Deputy Commissioner of (CBP) on April 11, 2010, serving as Chief Operating Officer and overseeing the daily operations of CBP’s 57,000-employee workforce and managing an operating budget of more than $11 billion.
Aguilar and his wife, Bea, were married circa 1975, and have three children and three grandchildren.
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