Border Patrol. Representation Image.
A Border Patrol unit. Creative Commons

The acting deputy chief of the Border Patrol was suspended from his post on Thursday, the Washington Post reported.

It wasn't immediately clear why Joel Martínez, a 31-year veteran from the organization, was removed, but CBP spokesperson Erin Waters told the outlet that the agency does "not tolerate misconduct within our ranks."

"When we discover any alleged or potential misconduct, we immediately refer it for investigation and cooperate fully with any criminal or administrative investigations," Waters said. "This is the case whether the alleged misconduct occurs on or off duty. Federal privacy laws prohibit discussion of individual cases."

Before his current position, Martínez had served as the chief patrol agent of the Laredo sector and deputy chief agent of the Río Grande Valley Sector, according to information from the CBP. He has not been arrested, the Washington Post added.

The news comes as border agencies struggle to deal with a massive inflow of migrants across the country's southern border.

Immigration and border security are already playing a dominant role in the political conversation and the presidential campaign leading to November's elections.

A sizable amount of the population believes that President Joe Biden is mishandling the surge of migration at the U.S. southern border, citing this as the main reason why they disapprove of his work, according to a new poll by Gallup.

In fact, it's the issue that was cited the most among those who said they disapprove of him in the poll, with almost 20% of respondents. Economy-related issues followed suit, with 9% citing his handling of the economy and 5% mentioning inflation.

Among the main issues taking over the agenda: House republicans impeached Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, over what they say is the mishandling of the border situation; Republican lawmakers blocked a billion-dollar border security package after months of negotiations, a move criticized by Democrats arguing it was done for political purposes; Biden is considering taking executive action to stem the flow of migrants, accusing Trump of playing politics by having his allies in Congress block legislative action; and Trump reportedly looking at a range of tools that include "obscure laws, military funds and law enforcement officers from all levels of government" to crack down on immigration if elected.

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