U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) commissioner Chris Magnus resigned from his position Saturday, according to a White House press release.
Magnus, who was appointed to the role in December 2021, submitted his resignation to Biden on Saturday, which was immediately accepted. The former border official had reportedly been asked to resign by Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, else he be fired from his position. (RELATED: Border Chief Says Mayorkas Told Him To Resign Or Face Biden Firing)
Magnus, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times on Friday night, had said that he would not resign as requested by Mayorkas.
“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,” he told the Times.
However, less than a day later, Magnus reversed course. In his resignation letter, Magnus wrote that “I am submitting my resignation effective immediately but wish you and your administration the very best going forward.”
The move comes following a Politico report which characterized Magnus as detached from the agency’s mission, with allegations he feel asleep during meeting.
Magnus’s resignation as commissioner comes after illegal migrant crossings along the United States’ border with Mexico have reached their highest levels on record, with the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) arresting over 2.4 million migrants in the current fiscal year, per the agency.
The Biden administration has faced significant criticism from Republicans and even some Democrats for the continued increases, with the Senate Republicans calling it “the worst border crisis in our history.” Some observers have ascribed the continued increases to policy changes by the Biden administration, made at the insistence of its left-wing Democratic allies in Congress; these include the rescinding of the Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, which forced asylum seekers at the southern border to wait in Mexico while their claims were processed. Biden later ended the policy after the Supreme Court ruled that he could do so.
The Biden administration also targeted Title 42 of the Public Health Service Act, which was used to summarily expel unlawful migrants on public health grounds. The measure was widely used during the COVID-19 pandemic and removed an estimated 1.8 million people from the United States, per the American Immigration Council.
The Biden administration announced on April 1 that it would end Title 42 explosions, which produced a backlash from several Congressional Democrats. On April 25 a federal district court issued a temporary injunction against Biden’s order rescinding the procedure, with the case currently being litigated.
Magnus, a former law enforcement professional who served as a police chief in Michigan, North Dakota and California, previously said that Title 42 imposed a “human cost” on migrants, echoing Democratic rhetoric on immigration. Republicans, meanwhile, have demanded that the Biden administration enforce immigration laws as written.
Magnus and CBP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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