Biden Picks Trump Critic to Lead Customs and Border Protection

President Biden will nominate Chris Magnus, the police chief of Tucson, Ariz., and a critic of the Trump administration’s anti-immigration insurance policies, to guide Customs and Border Protection, one in every of six new installments of management on the Department of Homeland Security.

If confirmed, Mr. Magnus would step right into a politically divisive problem going through the Biden administration: learn how to deal with a record number of border crossings which are projected to extend within the coming months. The administration has failed to securely transfer hundreds of youngsters and youngsters from jails run by the Border Patrol into shelters all through the United States.

Members of Congress have known as for extra accountability measures at Customs and Border Protection after it was revealed in 2019 that dozens of border brokers had joined private Facebook groups and other social media pages that included obscene pictures of Hispanic lawmakers and threats to members of Congress. D.H.S. has additionally confronted an investigation from the division’s Office of the Inspector General for its aggressive techniques towards protesters in Portland, Ore.

Mr. Biden, who campaigned on growing oversight at Customs and Border Protection, which oversees the Border Patrol, selected not a veteran of the company however somewhat a progressive police chief who promoted neighborhood policing efforts whereas overseeing departments in Tucson and Richmond, Calif. Mr. Biden was compelled to decide on him due to these efforts to reform departments, in addition to his latest work policing a metropolis near the U.S.-Mexico border, in keeping with a White House official.

Mr. Magnus, who’s white and homosexual, obtained nationwide consideration when {a photograph} of him in uniform holding a Black Lives Matter signal throughout a protest in Richmond went viral. It additionally sparked criticism from the native police union. Last June, he abruptly offered to resign as chief of the Tucson police whereas releasing a video through which a 27-year-old Latino man, Carlos Ingram Lopez, died in custody. Mayor Regina Romero expressed confidence in Mr. Magnus and saved him on the job.

He additionally publicly criticized the immigration insurance policies of President Donald J. Trump and his lawyer basic, Jeff Sessions, as hindering police efforts to crack down on crime.

“The harsh anti-immigrant rhetoric and Mr. Sessions’s reckless policies ignore a basic reality known by most good cops and prosecutors,” Mr. Magnus wrote in a New York Times opinion piece in 2017. “If people are afraid of the police, if they fear they may become separated from their families or harshly interrogated based on their immigration status, they won’t report crimes or come forward as witnesses.”

Mr. Magnus final 12 months additionally declined to settle for homeland safety “Stonegarden” grants issued to native police departments that help the federal authorities on border enforcement, after the Trump administration refused to permit a portion of the funds to be spent on humanitarian support for asylum-seeking migrants.

The nominations unveiled on Monday additionally embrace high cybersecurity officers, an indication of the administration’s intent to prioritize cyberattacks as a high nationwide safety menace. Jen Easterly, Morgan Stanley’s head of resilience and a former senior official on the National Security Agency, was tapped to guide the Homeland Security Department’s cybersecurity department, and Robert Silvers, a high cybersecurity official on the division through the Obama administration, was picked to be below secretary for coverage.

Mr. Biden may even nominate Jonathan Meyer, one other Obama administration official, to return to the division as basic counsel, and John Tien, the previous National Security Council senior director for Afghanistan and Pakistan, to function deputy secretary.

Ur Jaddou, who labored as chief counsel at Citizenship and Immigration Services earlier than main an immigration advocacy group, was tapped to guide the immigration company.

The officers would work below Alejandro N. Mayorkas, the primary immigrant to run the division accountable not just for border safety and immigration insurance policies, but additionally offering a coordinated protection towards terrorism, maritime, aviation and cybersecurity threats. During the Trump administration, the division was riddled with vacancies and interim leaders and was accused of getting a unilateral deal with the border with Mexico, whether or not or not it’s separating youngsters from their dad and mom or constructing a wall there.

The administration nonetheless has not nominated anybody to guide Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the company that investigates intercourse and drug trafficking organizations and deports undocumented immigrants.