Top migration adviser to depart White House after three years

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s top migration adviser in the National Security Council will depart the White House next week after playing a key role in the administration’s immigration strategy for three years, according to an NSC spokesperson.

Katie 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 at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Her departure, which had been planned for several months, comes amid high-stakes talks between the White House and senators on changes to asylum laws.

Katie Tobin portrait. (Katie Tobin  / via X )

Katie Tobin portrait. (Katie Tobin / via X )

Tobin was part of the high-level delegation that traveled to Mexico last month to meet with their counterparts to address the surge. The Biden administration has been leaning on the country to curb migrant crossings, which has led to temporary dips in the numbers.

“Katie is departing after three years of tenacious and dedicated efforts on the migration file,” national security adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement to NBC News. “We will miss Katie’s positivity and thoughtful contributions on an incredibly complex portfolio, but wish her well.”

During her time at the White House, Tobin was instrumental in 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 spearheaded one of the president’s flagship initiatives on migration, known as the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection. More than 20 countries in the Western Hemisphere signed on to the declaration, which attempted to tackle various challenges related to global migration patterns.

Tobin previously worked as an expert on asylum law and refugees for the United Nations Refugee Agency.

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

It is unclear who will replace Tobin, according to an NSC spokesperson. She originally was going to leave last summer, but the White House persuaded her to stay on, given the increased focus on migration and diplomatic work with Mexico, the official said.

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