three years holding the reins for Immigration and Naturalization
Service (INS) inspections in the Seattle District, assistant
district director Ron Hays has done what he blamed for staffing
shortages in the inspector ranks taken a higher-paying
job with law enforcement retirement benefits.
Hays, who juggled staffing levels at local borders for the past three years and often got the brunt of public outcry when they got too long, took a job with the new Transportation Security Administration on August 23. Created after September 11 to put security in airports and other transportation hubs under federal control, the new agency is also home to the air marshals, a program which Hays often pointed to as a drain on the pool of well trained INS inspectors.
An INS employee for 14 years, Hays has worked as an inspector in Hawaii and in Washington D.C. where he helped develop the INSPASS program. He brought his knowledge of automated inspection systems to the Seattle District where he worked to put the NEXUS system in place.
At his new job Hays will be stationed in the Tri-cities area, according to INS district deputy director Bob Okin, in charge of airport security in the area. The transfer happened very quickly because he needed to be in a week-long training program now, he said. Edwin Martinez, the port director for Vancouver ports, has been named to Hays position while a replacement is selected. It could take a while, Okin said.
Hays was at a training session in Washington D.C. and was not available for comment. .