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Biden to nominate new Border Patrol chief who attacked Trump policies

Tucson, Ariz. police chief Chris Magnus. (Tucson Police Department/Released)
April 12, 2021

President Joe Biden will nominate Tucson, Ariz. police chief Chris Magnus as commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Tuesday, the White House said.

A White House statement provided to American Military News on Monday said, “Magnus developed a reputation as a progressive police leader who focused on relationship-building between the police and community, implementing evidence-based best practices, promoting reform, and insisting on police accountability.”

The statement praised Magnus’ work in “de-escalation training” and said, “Because of Tucson’s proximity to the border, he has extensive experience in addressing immigration issues.”

Biden will also nominate Ur Mendoza Jaddou as director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Jen Easterly as director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Jon Meyer as general counsel for the Department of Homeland Security, Rob Silvers as undersecretary for strategy, policy and plans for the Department of Homeland Security, and John Tien as deputy secretary for the Department of Homeland Security.

Magnus was noticed across the nation when a photo of him holding a Black Lives Matter sign went viral.

Magnus also publicly criticized former President Donald Trump in a 2017 New York Times op-ed in which he expressed he was “deeply troubled” by Trump’s immigration policies, and accused Trump and then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions of “anti-immigrant rhetoric.”

“The Trump administration seems to think it knows more about fighting crime than local police chiefs and sheriffs, and it is punishing cities that keep their officers focused on community needs rather than federal immigration enforcement,” Magnus wrote in the op-ed.

On Jan. 15, Magnus shared a Washington Post article that criticized Trump’s “’zero-tolerance’ border policy” and quoted a portion of the article that said, “The report ‘sheds new light on the chaos, cruelty and reckless disregard for vulnerable children in our nation’s custody’ and shows (the intention to) harm children and families as a deterrent to migration, and did not care to plan for the consequences.”

After the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Magnus appeared to blame Trump, saying the “mob” was “encouraged & emboldened,” mirroring language used by Democrat lawmakers during the second impeachment trial of Trump in February.

Days after the presidential election in November 2020, Magnus tweeted, “A new president provides an opportunity to move forward, find opportunities for common ground, and to take a deep breath all the way around!”

Prior to heading the Tucson police department, Magnus was the chief of police in Fargo, N.D. and Richmond, Calif.

Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said, “I am excited that President Biden has nominated an extraordinary group of individuals for critical leadership positions in the Department of Homeland Security. They are highly-regarded and accomplished professionals with deep experience in their respective fields.  Together they will help advance the Department of Homeland Security’s mission to ensure the safety and security of the American people.”