Now that the midterm elections are over, will we be seeing a change in illegal immigration policies and administration? It seems that might be the case as President Joe Biden’s border security pick, Chris Magnus, has been told to resign or face termination from his position. However, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) boss wasn’t eager or willing to step down and resisted the ultimatum given to him by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, despite allegations of not doing his job and even falling asleep during meetings. On Saturday, Nov. 12, he relented and resigned his post.
Magnus’ Views on Immigration Cause Unrest
Magnus, 61, had only held his position at CBP for less than a year, but already his criticism, views, and behavior spurred calls for his replacement. DHS statistics show that almost 2.4 million migrants have been detained at the border in the past fiscal year (which ended in September). This is a 37% increase compared to last year. Critics claimed Magnus was not as concerned about stopping the massive influx of migrants as he was working on claims of racism and violence.
“He’s not in the game,” an official told Politico, referring to Magnus. “Every time there’s a meeting and he’s in it, we’ll get to a conclusion and Magnus will have some sidebar issue that he wants to raise and we’re all like, ‘What the f—k is that about?’”
The White House, however, seems to support Magnus. When asked about the accusations against the border patrol commissioner, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said he “plays a key role.” She claimed during a regular press conference:
“Under Secretary Mayorkas’s leadership, we’re securing the border, taking thousands of smugglers off the streets, installing new technologies to catch more drugs and traffickers and making historic investments in the Department of Homeland Security… We’ll continue to focus our efforts on building the immigration system that the prior administration just gutted, decimated. And Commissioner Magnus plays a key role on all of this and that’s how we view his role.”
Magnus initially refused to leave, saying in a statement to the Los Angeles Times, “I am excited about the progress I made and look forward to continuing that work.” He also responded to allegations of falling asleep during meetings, saying it was a result of side effects of multiple sclerosis, and that he has now had his medication adjusted to account for that. In a statement to a prominent Washington newspaper, Mr. Magnus said:
“I expressed to [Mayorkas] that I felt there was no justification for me to resign when I still cared deeply about the work I was doing and felt that that work was focused on the things I was hired to do in the first place. I didn’t take this job as a resume builder. I came to Washington, DC — moved my family here — because I care about this agency, its mission, and the goals of this Administration.”
But the man who was until yesterday in charge of stemming illegal immigration also supports sanctuary cities. In a 2017 op-ed in The New York Times, Magnus wrote, “As the police chief [of Tucson, AZ], I’m deeply troubled by the Trump administration’s campaign against ‘sanctuary cities,’ which refuse to turn over undocumented immigrants to federal authorities.” He added, “We will not compromise our commitment to community policing and public safety by taking on immigration enforcement responsibilities that appropriately rest with federal authorities.”
Since taking over the CBP, Magnus had seen a lot of discontent among the ranks while the number of illegal migrants crossing into the US continues to climb. In early November, some Republican House members responded to recent reports of his less-than-stellar job performance by sending a letter to the president, asking that he fire Magnus.
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