House Republicans are calling for the resignation of Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus, alleging he is "unengaged" at his job.
In a letter to President Joe Biden, 16 Republicans spearheaded by Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., cited a report by Politico in which five unnamed officials levied accusations against Magnus.
"According to a recent report by Politico, Commissioner Magnus continually fails to attend high-level meetings regarding the border crisis. Even worse, he was caught sleeping through some of the meetings he actually attended," wrote the officials in a letter obtained by the Daily Caller.
"The report goes on to details Commissioner Magnus' constant complaining about his fellow senior officials in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) instead of focusing on the CBP mission to secure our border," the Republicans added.
Biden chose Magnus particularly for his opposition to the Trump administration's strong border policies and his motivation to reform law enforcement relations with immigrant communities.
Magnus has a background in policing, being a police chief in Tucson, Arizona, with 40 years of law enforcement experience. Still, his stance on border enforcement has raised concerns, especially amidst historic border crossings and their effects, like the fentanyl crisis.
"More than ever, we need a commissioner who understands the complexity of border policy and the inner workings of the CBP agency. Commissioner Magnus has admitted that during his first ten months in office, he spent more time learning the ‘many complex areas of CBP' rather than leading on the massive issues at the borders," the Republicans wrote.
The complaints by the five unnamed officials claim Magnus was at odds with the internal culture of the Department of Homeland Security, CBP, and the Border Patrol, an agency of CBP.
Officials point to the Politico story, saying Magnus is too focused on addressing claims of racism in the Border Patrol. In 2014, as police chief of Richmond, California, he garnered national attention by holding up a Black Lives Matter sign during the protests.
Other complaints against Magnus are his lack of immigration enforcement experience and interagency conflict.
"Operationally, he's not even in the conversation," said one official. "He knows the border, but the ins and outs and the size of capabilities of CBP is pretty far outside his remit and understanding how to deal with other parts of the administration."
The Politico report states Magnus caused interagency disputes by calling on Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to address Border Patrol agent's complaints against Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is separately led by Director Tae Johnson.
According to one former Biden administration official, CBP has complained that ICE is failing to keep up with issuing "notice to appear" documents instructing migrants when to appear before a judge.
CBP raised concerns about the decreased enforcement by ICE, encouraging more migrants to enter the country illegally. Border Patrol officers are already overwhelmed, and holdings facilities continue to fill up.
Republicans stress in their letter to Biden that more than 2.3 million migrants have been apprehended at the southwest border during the fiscal year 2022. They urge the President not to ignore "the largest border crisis in U.S. history."
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