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President Biden to nominate Tucson police chief to lead Customs and Border Protection

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Posted at 7:21 AM, Apr 12, 2021

TUCSON, AZ — President Biden will nominate Tucson's chief of police Chris Magnus to lead Customs and Border Protection, according to a White House statement Monday.

Chief Magnus was appointed to lead Tucson's police department in 2016 after serving a decade in Richmond, California, according to his biography online.

"In Tucson, Magnus implemented de-escalation training, sentinel event review processes, and programs to promote officer health and wellness. Because of Tucson’s proximity to the border, he has extensive experience in addressing immigration issues," the White House statement said.

Magnus openly criticized President Donald Trump's immigration policies, the New York Times wrote in a report about the nomination.

The news comes amid an increase of border crossings, which are said to be at the highest level in 15 years, and the highest-ever number of kids alone at the border.

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero released a statement following the announcement on Chief Magnus' nomination:

"I want to congratulate Chief Magnus for his nomination to serve as Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection," said Mayor Regina Romero. "During his time in Tucson and throughout his career, Chief Magnus has developed a national reputation for his sensible, inclusive approach to policing that has always centered around community building. Chief Magnus has always understood the importance of distinguishing the role of local law enforcement from federal immigration enforcement and how critical this is to protecting community trust. He has gained valuable experience serving as Police Chief of a major city here in the Borderlands."

Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema also released a statement following the nomination announcement:

“Chief Chris Magnus's nomination to lead Customs and Border Protection represents a positive step toward ensuring the administration understands and addresses the needs of Arizona communities. Our state pays the price for the federal government's failure to fix a broken immigration system. I'll continue working to ensure the administration takes meaningful steps to support our border communities, secure the border, and treat all migrants and unaccompanied children fairly and humanely - and I look forward to talking with Chief Magnus soon about his nomination.”

In a statement Monday, Senator Mark Kelly said he is looking forward to Chief Magnus's plans for Customs and Border Protection.

“I’ve known Chief Magnus for a number of years, and as the son of two police officers myself, I have respected his approach to public service and law enforcement. We’re facing a humanitarian crisis at our border that is already straining Border Patrol in Arizona, and I look forward to speaking with Chief Magnus about his plans for Customs and Border Protection and providing a secure, orderly process at the border that prioritizes safety and public health.”

President Biden is also set to nominate other leaders for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to the White House. Those names include John Tien for Deputy Secretary, Jen Easterly for Director of Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, Ur Jaddou for Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, Jonathan Meyer for General Counsel and Robert Silvers for Under Secretary for Strategy, Policy and Plans.