Trump Taps Immigration Hardliner for State Department Refugee Oversight Role

The White House on Thursday nominated a man who claims illegal immigration and crime “go hand in hand” to serve as assistant secretary of state for the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. Ronald Mortensen, a former career foreign-service officer who has advocated for reducing immigrant populations, is a fellow at the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies, which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Mortensen has written numerous essays blaming crime on illegal immigration, writing in one piece that “illegal aliens commit felonies in order to get jobs.” In another, he blamed “high levels of identity theft” on undocumented immigrants. If confirmed by the Senate, Mortensen would be in charge of offering aid and protection to refugees and at-risk groups for the State Department.