Senate Passes Nominee For Joe Biden

( )- Chris Magnus will officially become the U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner, following his confirmed in the Senate this week.

The 61-year-old former police chief in Tucson, Arizona, barely received approval, though, with a final vote of 50-47. The only Republican senator to vote for his confirmation was Susan Collins from Maine.

The agency, which oversees all trade, travel and security at America’s borders, employs roughly 60,000 people. It’s the parent agency of the U.S. Border Patrol, which is experiencing some controversy recently.

Many of the agents who work for Border Patrol are against the policies that President Joe Biden is implementing in relation to immigration. Those more welcoming and lax policies have caused, in large part, the huge surge in migrants to the southern border.

In the 2021 fiscal year, arrests at the southern border with Mexico have reached 1.7 million, which is a new record. That fiscal year ended back in September.

Immigration is becoming a main issue for Republicans as they prepare to try to take back control of both the Senate and House in the 2022 midterm elections. Conservatives have placed a lot of blame on the increase of illegal border crossings on the Biden administration reversing the hard-line policies on immigration that were established under former President Donald Trump.

Many of the migrants who are flocking to the U.S. through the southern border are coming from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala because of extreme food insecurity, poverty and violence — all of which have increased in severity since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These people have been more apt to try to cross into the U.S. recently because they expect they’ll be treated more fairly by the Biden administration than they would’ve been under the Trump administration.

Now, Magnus will be at the heart of this hot debate. He joined the police force in Tucson in 2016. Before that, he worked with police departments in California, North Dakota and Michigan.

Biden first nominated Magnus way back in April, but it has taken eight months to get him confirmed. When he originally made the nomination, Biden said Magnus was a reformer who is focused on establishing trust with law enforcement among the greater community, while also holding officers accountable for their actions.

But, Magnus is no stranger to controversy, which is what led to his confirmation process being so long — and ultimately led him to barely being confirmed. In 2014, while serving as the police chief of Richmond in California, he was photographed holding a sign that read “Black Lives Matter” at a protest.

After the fact, he said he was doing it as a gesture of goodwill, not as a political statement.

He also made headlines in 2017 when he wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times that criticized then-President Trump’s decision to withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities that don’t fully cooperate with the efforts of federal immigration enforcement agencies.

Magnus will now be the first commissioner of the agency who was confirmed through the Senate since 2018. Trump appointed Mark Morgan as the acting commissioner of the CBP in 2018, a role he held from July of 2019 through January of this year.

When Biden entered the White House, Troy Miller took over that role of acting commissioner.