Customs and Border Protection chief Chris Magnus has been asked to resign amid internal conflict

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Meyercas has asked US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Chris Magnus to resign this week after months of frustration with his leadership, a senior Department of Homeland Security official familiar with the matter told CBS News. told.

In an email, Magnus confirmed to CBS News that he had been asked to resign.

Magnus, a former Tucson, Arizona police chief who has had a fraught relationship with the Border Patrol, an agency within the CBP, has been arrested record number of migrants at the US-Mexico border over the past year, said the DHS official, who requested anonymity to discuss internal matters.

Troy Miller, a longtime career executive at CBP, has been overseeing day-to-day operations at the agency for some time amid internal concerns over Magnus’s leadership, the official said.

Chris Magnus testifies at Senate confirmation hearing
Chris Magnus testifies at the Senate Finance Committee for a hearing on his nomination as the next U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner on October 19, 2021.

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Representatives for DHS and the White House did not respond to requests for comment.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times on Friday, Magnus said he has no plans to resign. “I am excited by the progress I have made and look forward to continuing that work,” Magnus told the newspaper.

Magnus said that he defended his record when Meyerkas and his deputy John Tien asked to resign: “I told them that I felt there was no justification for me to resign, even when I was talking about my work. I cared deeply and felt that the work was focused on the things I was put in the first place to do.”

The internal conflict between Magnus and DHS leadership comes as the department faces major operational and humanitarian challenges at the US-Mexico border, where CBP recorded nearly 2.4 million encounters with unauthorized migrants in fiscal year 2022, 12 months. period that ended in September. 30.

Confirmed by Congress in December 2021, Magnus has been CBP commissioner for less than a year. As the largest federal law enforcement agency, CBP is responsible for securing US borders, facilitating business and legal travel, and preventing illegal drugs and goods from entering the country.

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