U.S. Customs and Border Protection may soon have a confirmed leader after eight months of functioning without one as illegal migration at the southern border rises out of control.
The Senate Finance Committee announced late Wednesday plans to move forward with confirming Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus as CBP commissioner. Chairman Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, said the decision to proceed followed a call with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, but he did not specify when any confirmation hearings would take place.
Wyden had held up the process to confirm Magnus until Mayorkas took action to investigate the deployment of CBP law enforcement to Portland in mid-2020 in an attempt to quell riots and violence downtown that lasted for several months.
Mayorkas “told me the Department of Homeland Security would begin this week reviewing its law enforcement policies, including use of force and of chemical munitions — a review I’ve been calling for since Trump first deployed federal troops to Portland and other U.S. cities in the summer of 2020,” Wyden said in a statement.
“With Secretary Mayorkas’ responses and his commitment today to begin this review process as well as for DHS to release by the end of the week, a public version of the report on its Office of Intelligence and Analysis’ actions in Portland, the Senate Finance Committee will begin consideration of Chris Magnus to serve as CBP Commissioner," Wyden said.
Biden nominated Magnus for the job in April. Magnus's department came under scrutiny last June for officers' conduct in restraining a Hispanic man. The man, Carlos Ingram-Lopez, died while in police custody. Magnus also publicly opposed former President Donald Trump’s anti-sanctuary city views.
A second person familiar with internal considerations about Magnus's nomination said the administration is considering moving him to a role as Border Patrol chief because he would not need to get congressional approval to work in that position.
Earlier this year, the Biden administration forced out the deputy commissioner of CBP and the head of the U.S. Border Patrol even though neither official was a political appointee and both were career federal law enforcement officials.
Troy Miller has been the senior official performing the duties of the CPB commissioner since Biden took office in late January. Miller was the executive director of the National Targeting Center, which is responsible for implementing the agency’s counterterrorism strategy. He started his career in 1993 as a customs inspector.
Miller was expected to be a temporary fill-in at headquarters but has carried out the Biden administration's changes to immigration policies, even mandating that employees stop using terms such as "illegal alien" in favor of more inclusive language.
In August, more than 200,000 people were encountered attempting to enter the United States illegally from Mexico, among the highest rates in two decades. The Biden administration has not specifically disclosed how many people every month are being released into the U.S.
Washington Examiner Videos
Original Author: Anna Giaritelli