Top Biden immigration officer being forced out of job amid record border crossings, source says

The US Customs and Border Protection commissioner is being forced out of office as part of a major change in top management at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), according to a government source.

Chris Magnus is refusing to leave the position after being asked to resign or be fired by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, according to the source. It comes after a record year of migrants attempting to enter the US along the Mexican border.

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Chris Magnus appears before a Senate Finance Committee hearing on his nomination to be the next US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on October 19, 2021.

Chris Magnus appears before a Senate Finance Committee hearing on his nomination to be the next US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner at the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on October 19, 2021.
(Rod Lamkey/Pool via REUTERS/File Picture)

Magnus has only been in office for about a year, and sources say he has clashed with DHS officials over border enforcement policy. Some of Magnus’ duties have been taken over by his deputies.

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DHS officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

New DHS figures show nearly 2.4 million migrants were arrested at the border for the fiscal year ended September, a 37% increase from a year earlier.

President Biden nominated Magnus for the 2021 position, and he was confirmed in December of this year.

Aside from the record numbers at the borders, Magnus has already faced a number of controversies. Fox News reported in October 2021 that Magnus settled a case of sexual harassment and retaliation by a former officer in 2017. The case stemmed from his time as police chief in Richmond, California.

Last month it was reported that Magnus was falling asleep during meetings.

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“He’s not in the game,” an administration official told Politico of Magnus. “Every time there’s a meeting and he’s in, we come to a conclusion and Magnus has a side issue that he wants to address and we’re all like, ‘What the hell is that?'”

Magnus defended his performance in an October statement to Fox News.

“I care deeply about CBP and the people who work here. In the 10 months that I have been CBP Officer, I have become familiar with the agency’s many complex responsibilities,” he said. “Although CBP is an operational – not policy-making – agency, during my time as Commissioner I have been closely involved in the important DHS discussions on immigration, border security, trade and other policy discussions. I frequently share insights from CBP’s frontline law with enforcement and civilian personnel in these conversations, and will continue to do so.”

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