CBP head Chris Magnus has resigned, following standoff with DHS Secretary Mayorkas

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US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus resigned late Saturday, the White House said in a brief statement, ending a bitter feud between the country’s top official and the Secretary of the Department of Defense. Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.

Mayorkas asked Magnus to step down on Wednesday but the CBP commissioner refused to go quietly, insisting that he would not leave unless asked by the White House.

CBP Commissioner Says He Refused Resignation Request From Homeland Security Secretary

The White House said that President Biden accepted Magnus’s resignation and thanked him for his “nearly four decades of service and contributions to police development during his time as police chief in three cities in the United States.” America.”

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In a statement to The Washington Post, Magnus said the decision “provides me with the best way to continue my commitment to effective, efficient and community policing.”

The White House also released a copy of a letter from Magnus thanking Biden for his opportunity to serve “over the past year.” But Magnus only lasted 11 months on the job. He was confirmed by the Senate last December with a majority vote along party lines.

Magnus, 62, was selected by the White House to lead the nation’s largest law enforcement agency after establishing a reputation as a leading law enforcement reformer during that time. former police chief in Fargo, ND, Richmond, Calif. and Tucson. He was CBP’s first gay commissioner.

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However, Magnus’ ambitions to reform CBP put him at odds with Mayorkas and senior CBP leaders who are struggling to deal with the number of immigrants apprehended at the Mexican border.

Magnus said he wants to make changes to the laws governing high-speed chases, work overtime and CBP officers’ monitoring of travelers’ phones at border crossings, among other reform ideas. . He said that the effort was fruitless.

“I did not take this job to start work. I came to Washington, DC – I moved my family here – because I care about this institution, its mission, and the goals of this Administration,” Magnus said as he resisted efforts to oust him.

Magnus said he tried repeatedly to bring about much-needed changes to CBP, but Mayorkas did not accept the obstacles, and he was familiar with the needs of border workers.

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According to Magnus, tensions rose Wednesday after Magnus traveled to El Paso to attend a meeting of Border Patrol officials. Mayorkas had asked him not to go. Magnus said Mayorkas tendered his resignation during a video conference, telling Magnus that he and CBP employees had lost confidence in him and that Magnus disobeyed him by visiting El Paso.

CBP deputy commissioner Troy Miller will serve as the agency’s acting leader, Mayorkas said in an email sent to CBP employees late Saturday. Miller ran CBP as its interim leader through the 2021 majority.

Maria Sacchetti contributed to this report.

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