“Socalj” for Borderland Beat
|Chris Magnus has been criticized internally for being out of touch with the agency and publicly for the handling of the US-Mexico border.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas asked US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus to resign this week, according to a source familiar with the discussions. In a statement to the Los Angeles Times, Magnus said he planned to stay in the agency. “I am excited about the progress I made and look forward to continuing that work,” he said.
On Tuesday, Magnus had also gone to a meeting of border patrol chiefs in El Paso after Mayorkas had ordered him not to, Magnus said. “After me making extensive attempts to reach [Mayorkas] and discuss the matter, I went to the meeting so I could engage with the chiefs on various issues and concerns. I also met with Chief Ortiz to see how we might best work together moving forward,” he said.
In the meeting with Mayorkas on Wednesday, Magnus was told to resign or Mayorkas would recommend to President Biden that he be fired, Mangus said. Then, on Thursday, John Tien, the second in command at DHS, also told Magnus that he should resign or he would be fired within the next few days, he said.
“I expressed to him 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. CNN has reached out to the Department of Homeland Security and the White House for comment. President Joe Biden tapped Magnus, who served as police chief in Tucson, Arizona, to helm CBP – the largest federal law enforcement agency and the second-largest revenue-collecting source in the federal government.
“As a paramedic for 10 years public health has always been one of my top concerns, and because of that I think it’s absolutely imperative that we do everything possible to stop the spread of Covid. And Title 42 is a CDC authority, and I think it helps with this,” Magnus said during the hearing.