Customs and Border Protection commissioner resigns following pressure from Mayorkas

The commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Christopher Magnus, has resigned following reports that Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas told him to resign or expect to be fired.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement on Saturday that President Biden accepted Magnus’ resignation and thanked him for his service at CBP and the reform he made while serving as police chief in three cities.

House Republicans called for Magnus to resign earlier this month following a Politico report that he was “unengaged at his job.”

Biden chose Magnus for the role partly because he had spoken against the Trump administration’s policies toward immigrants, but some questioned whether his background in policing instead of immigration and border enforcement made him qualified for the job.

The Politico story reported that some administration officials described him as unfamiliar with CBP operations and too focused on changing the agency’s culture.

Mayorkas and Magnus met on Wednesday to discuss Magnus’ decision to not continue a retention bonus for Border Patrol head Raul Ortiz. Magnus had disagreed with Ortiz over how to reform CBP.

Mayorkas encouraged him to resign at the meeting. Magnus initially said in a statement to The Washington Post that he did not plan to resign.

The Biden administration and specifically CBP has faced criticism as border crossings have reached historic levels.

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