Biden picks Tucson, AZ police chief as CBP nominee

Biden picks Tucson, AZ police chief as CBP nominee

Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

President Joe Biden on Monday picked Tucson, Arizona police chief Chris Magnus as his nominee to lead U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), along with a slate of nominees for other high-ranking immigration and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) jobs, the White House announced.

Biden’s choice for CBP commissioner comes at a vital juncture, with a record-breaking surge of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in the past few months, especially thousands of unaccompanied children. The surge, coupled with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, has caused a crisis in migrant detention facilities, where many migrants are being kept in unsanitary, overcrowded conditions with poor accommodations, among other things. Recently, there have also been allegations of sexual assault against migrant children in some of these facilities.

Magnus has been the chief of police for Tucson since 2016 and has previously led the police departments in Fargo, North Dakota and Richmond, California. “In each of these cities,” the White House press release reads, “Magnus developed a reputation as a progressive police leader who focused on relationship-building between the police and community, implementing evidence-based best practices, promoting reform, and insisting on police accountability.”

“Because of Tucson’s proximity to the border,” the press release also stated, “he has extensive experience in addressing immigration issues.”

Notably, according to The Washington Post, Magnus “opposed efforts to make Tucson a ‘sanctuary city,’ but he generally eschewed cooperation with federal immigration authorities.” This put him “at odds with the Border Patrol union — and many of the agents and officials who will potentially be under his command,” according to the newspaper.

Magnus’ nomination on Monday came alongside the announcement five others for top DHS and immigration roles.

The rest of the picks consist of John Tien for deputy secretary of the DHS; Jon Meyer for general counsel of the DHS; Ur Jaddou for director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; Jen Easterly for director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency; and Rob Silvers for undersecretary for strategy, policy, and plans at the DHS.

“I am excited that @POTUS has nominated an extraordinary group of individuals for critical leadership positions in @DHSgov,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas tweeted Monday.

MORE ON SEC. MAYORKAS: Report: Mayorkas weighing return to border wall construction

“They are highly regarded and accomplished professionals with deep experience in their respective fields,” Mayorkas continued. “Together they will help advance the Department of Homeland Security’s mission to ensure the safety and security of the American people. I look forward to working with the Senate in support of their swift confirmation.”

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.

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