Joe Biden's top border official Chris Magnus resigns amid record-breaking surge in migrant crossings

WH press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed the president had accepted Magnus' resignation, marking one of the most high-profile departures of the Biden administration

Joe Biden's top border official Chris Magnus resigns amid record-breaking surge in migrant crossings
Chris Magnus who has been commissioner of the US Customs and Border Protection for less than a year has resigned (Rod Lamkey, Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON, DC: President Joe Biden has accepted the resignation of US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Christopher Magnus, the White House said Saturday, Nov 12. Magnus who was US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner had been asked to resign by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas this week, according to two sources familiar with the matter. He submitted his resignation to Biden which is effective immediately, reports Fox News

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Magnus has been criticized internally for being out of touch with the agency and publicly for the handling of the US-Mexico border. "I am submitting my resignation effective immediately but wish you and your administration the very best going forward. Thank you again for this tremendous opportunity," Magnus wrote in his resignation. 

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Magnus' husband has stated that he was used as a "scapegoat," suggesting that he was wrongfully removed from his post as border commander. Magnus' letter to the President read, 'Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your Senate-confirmed Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection over the past year. It has been a privilege and honor to be part of your administration,' Daily Mail reported.

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"President Biden appreciates Commissioner Magnus' nearly forty years of service and the contributions he made to police reform during his tenure as police chief in three US cities. The President thanks Mr Magnus for his service at CBP and wishes him well," White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times both reported on Friday that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas had requested Magnus' resignation. Magnus was approved as commissioner of the CBP, a 60,000-person agency in charge of border security, trade, and travel, in December. He worked for police departments in Michigan, North Dakota, and California before becoming Tucson's police chief in 2016.

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According to Daily Mail, Magnus stated earlier this week that he would not quit and maintain his devotion to the agency. Magnus' resignation comes after a record-breaking year for the number of migrants attempting to enter the United States through the southern border. Under Biden, migrant arrests at the US-Mexico border have reached all-time highs, fuelling Republican criticism that his policies are too soft. During the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2022, federal officials arrested almost 2.493 million immigrants. That considerably surpassed the previous year's total of more than 1.7 million arrests, as reported by Daily Mail.

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Biden administration officials have stated that they want to create a more orderly and humane immigration system, but they have struggled to deal with the operational and political challenges that have come with the high number of crossings. Magnus' departure is part of a larger shakeup at Homeland Security, which is struggling to manage migrants from a broader range of countries, including Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua.

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