U.S. Customs and Border Protection chief patrol agent of the El Centro Sector Gregory Bovino was abruptly reassigned, according to a New York Post report.

This high-ranking official’s reassignment came directly after he conferred with Congress on border policy matters. Some Republican representatives suggest his sudden job change is a form of retaliation.

“We write with deep concern that U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials may have retaliated against a witness in a Congressional investigation,” Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-KY) and Homeland Security Chairman Mark Green (R-TN) wrote in a letter to acting Commissioner Troy A. Miller.

CBP was accused in the letter of barring Bovino from testifying before a full House committee because his prepared remarks didn’t please agency officials, according to a report from The Daily Caller.

The border protection agency denied the allegations, claiming Bovino’s reassignment was unrelated to his congressional testimony.

Border Patrol officials’ reassurance has not dispelled concerns among Republican lawmakers. They’ve called the timing of Bovino’s re assignment to CBP headquarters as troubling.

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The Republican representatives have called for further transparency over the matter, demanding documents and communications related to the reassignment.

“Given the suspicious timing of the reassignment coinciding with Chief Bovino’s cooperation with a Congressional inquiry, we demand CBP account for the current status of Chief Bovino’s employment and assignment within the U.S. Border Patrol, provide documents and communications relevant to any reassignment and the reasons for any related employment action, and brief the Committee on this matter,” the lawmakers wrote Miller.

More than 1.7 million illegal aliens have been encountered by Border Patrol agents along the southwest border in fiscal year 2023, according to CBP data.

The agency recorded 1.7 million encounters in fiscal year 2021 and 2.3 million in fiscal year 2022, agency data reveals. The southwest surge of illegals in 2023 appears set to top last year’s record number of encounters.

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