Top US border official asked to resign or be fired

Immigration

(NewsNation) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus was asked to resign one day after the midterm elections, a NewsNation source confirmed Friday.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told Magnus on Wednesday that he should either resign or be dismissed, Politico reported.

As the head of the Customs and Border Protection agency, Magnus has reportedly clashed with immigration officials over how to handle the surging numbers of migrants at the US-Mexico border.

In a statement to the Los Angeles Times, Magnus indicated that so far, he had refused to step down, and he defended his record.

“I expressed to him (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,” Magnus said.

In a written statement cited by the Washington Post, Magnus said, “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.”

Politico reported Mayorkas has reassigned Magnus’ duties to his deputy secretary, John Tien, and that some executive assistant commissioners have indicated they would leave the agency if Magnus does not comply.

President Joe Biden tapped Magnus, who has led the DHS agency since December.  He was previously chief of police in Tucson, Arizona, Fargo, North Dakota, and Richmond, California. 

Under Magnus’ watch, the number of illegal crossings rose to the highest level ever recorded in a fiscal year.

In the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, migrants were stopped 2.38 million times, up 37% from the year before, according to newly released figures.

The annual total surpassed 2 million for the first time in August and is more than twice the highest level during Donald Trump’s presidency, in 2019.

According to The Associated Press, the request for Magnus to resign is part of a larger shakeup expected at Homeland Security as border officials struggle to manage the wave of migrants.

The AP also reported that Brandon Judd, the president of the National Border Patrol Council, confirmed that Magnus was being pushed out.

Neither Customs and Border Protection nor the Homeland Security Department responded to requests for comment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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