Migrants await processing by immigration authorities after crossing the US-Mexico border in Eagle Pass, Texas, December 20, 2023

NEW YORK CITY - Following a year of increased border tensions and ongoing negotiations over immigration reform, news surfaced that President Biden's top migration adviser in the National Security Council, Katie Tobin, will leave the White House. Tobin played a key role in the administration's immigration strategy for three years, NBC News reports.

Tobin, who served as the senior director for transborder security, is leaving her post at a time when border policy is front and center due to record levels of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border and the key role of related measures to unlock a large aid package requested by the Biden administration.

"Katie is departing after three years of tenacious and dedicated efforts on the migration file," national security adviser Jake Sullivan told NBC News. "We will miss Katie's positivity and thoughtful contributions on an incredibly complex portfolio, but wish her well."

Tobin was one of the officials who traveled to Mexico last month to meet with their counterparts to address the immigrant surge.

All eyes are now set on the Capitol, especially on Republicans who will determine whether to agree on comprehensive migration reform. Reports from this week point to tensions between GOP lawmakers following pressure from former president Donald Trump to tank the deal on border security, as negotiators from both parties said they were getting closer to an agreement.

One of Tobin's most salient contributions is related to the planning for the end of Title 42, the Trump-era public health order that was used to turn away migrants during the height of the pandemic.

She also helped to establish the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection, which seeks to tackle various challenges related to global migration patterns.

An immediate replacement for Tobin has not been appointed yet. She was originally set to leave the White House last summer, but was persuaded to stay due to the increased salience on immigration.

"Katie is a generative strategist and policymaker, a highly effective diplomat, and an advocate for the humane treatment of migrants," Liz Sherwood-Randall, the White House's homeland security adviser, said. "She drove the development of a new hemispheric system of shared responsibility, including expanding legal pathways and enforcement mechanisms."

The former immigration adviser will not be the only one bidding farewell to the White House. The first chief of diversity and inclusion, Michael Leach, will also be leaving the administration later this month.

Leach, who has joined Biden since the 2020 presidential campaign and was a special assistant to President Biden, spearheaded efforts to create the most diverse general election and White House staffs in history. His departure also coincides with increased backlash of diversity, equity and inclusion by the GOP.

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