- The head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Friday that he has been asked to resign.
- CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus said the request was made by DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
- Magnus told the Los Angeles Times that he plans to stay put.
Less than a year after his inauguration, the top US border official said Friday that the Biden administration is pushing to replace him.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Chris Magnus, the head of US Customs and Border Protection, said he was asked twice this week to resign or risk being fired. A former police chief from Tuscon, Magnus was confirmed to his post last December by a 50-47 vote in the Senate.
Magnus said the request was made earlier this week by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. According to Magnus, Mallorca said he would ask to be fired if he did not resign. The threat was repeated Thursday by another DHS official, Magnus said.
“I expressed to him that I felt there was no justification for resigning when I still cared deeply about the work I was doing and felt that work was focused on the things I was hired to do in the first place,” Magnus said. the times.
DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In his current role, Magnus oversees the federal government’s largest law enforcement agency, including members of the US Border Patrol. According to Magnus, Mayorkas tendered his resignation after the CBP commissioner decided not to give the Border Patrol chief a “withholding” bonus, citing philosophical differences.
Despite imposing tough border measures, including Title 42, a Trump-era public health order that bars most immigrants from exercising their legal right to seek asylum at a port of entry, Republicans have attacked the Biden administration for not doing more to prevent unauthorized crossings.
The number of migrants crossing the US-Mexico border is lower than the number seen in the early 2000s, according to DHS. But in part because Title 42 forces many asylum seekers to cross the border illegally to file their claims — and with those detained under the policy often immediately deported, not formally deported, better allowing for repeat attempts — CBP reported last year month record number of arrests.
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