Newly confirmed Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus, who squeaked by in a 50-47 Senate vote Tuesday, continues to face fire from immigration hard-liners who claim he is a softy on efforts to slow the historic flow of illegal migrants.
Following the vote, the police chief of Tucson, Arizona, was hit with criticism of his support for sanctuary city policies and opposition to former President Donald Trump’s bid to build a border wall.
“Magnus is simply the wrong person for this critical federal law enforcement position,” said long-serving immigration official Mark Morgan, who was Trump’s acting border commissioner.
🚨🚨: Chris Magnus, Biden's nominee to run CBP, testified before the Senate in 2018 that border walls are a "medieval" solution to securing the border.— John Cooper (@thejcoop) April 12, 2021
Why is Biden selecting someone to run CBP whose views about border security aren't shared by rank and file agents? pic.twitter.com/xA2UbN50C6
“He refused to call the crisis what it is, a crisis, and only grudgingly admitted that the Biden administration’s policy of nonenforcement might be driving the crisis. In past testimony, he has called the border wall system a ‘medieval’ solution to border security despite the men and women of CBP across the board saying such a system works. And he simply does not have the professional experience to lead the more than 62,000 men and women of CBP — the largest federal law enforcement agency in the country,” added Morgan, now a fellow at the Heritage Foundation and the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
In a statement, FAIR President Dan Stein also criticized the pick as a sign that President Joe Biden plans to continue his efforts to open the border and dismantle Trump’s policies.
“Magnus was a staunch defender of sanctuary policies that undermine some of the very laws that he is about to enforce," Stein said. “He was nominated by President Biden not to ensure that our borders are secure, but to see to it that his administration’s open-borders policies are carried out, regardless of the cost or risk to the American public.”
Before winning Biden’s nomination for the new post, Magnus was heralded as a liberal law enforcement official. The New York Times, for example, cheered him for criticizing Trump and once carrying a Black Lives Matter poster in a protest.
He will also become the first openly gay border commissioner, having married his partner in 2014.