US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus was asked Friday by Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas to resign or be fired.
Magnus said he would not resign, according to a statement to the Los Angeles Timeswho first reported the story.
“I am excited about the progress I have made and look forward to continuing that work,” Magnus said in the statement.
Homeland Security officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Magnus, the former Tucson police chief, was confirmed in December as the commissioner of the country’s largest law enforcement agency. Magnus was the first Arizonan to lead the agency of more than 60,000 employees.
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In the months since his confirmation, Magnus has faced internal frustration and external criticism over his handling of the situation at the US-Mexico border.
Magnus misled some ordinary cops — and delighted agency critics — with his announcement in May that he would be reviewing guidelines for cops to chase vehicles after a spate of deadly collisions.
Internally, government officials who work with Magnus have criticized him for not being involved in his work, saying he has not done enough to deal with the influx of migrants on the southern border.
Magnus was the subject of an unflattering profile in Politico in which unnamed government officials said he missed White House meetings, failed to build relationships inside and outside his desk, and was uninvolved, even falling asleep during meetings. . Magnus insisted he was deeply involved in discussions about immigration.
BREAKING REGISTRATIONS:Number of migrants at US-Mexico border set to break previous records again
The total number of encounters along the US-Mexico border crossed 2 million for the first time in a single year in fiscal 2022, according to data from the Dutch DPA.
Magnus has often said he is focused on reforming the culture of the border patrol as the agency faces ongoing allegations of mistreatment of migrants.
The commotion comes as Republicans are likely to take control of the House in January and are expected to launch an investigation into the border. Republicans insist Biden’s policies have not worked.
While Trump-era asylum restrictions encourage repeat attempts, flows have been extraordinarily high in every way. The numbers reflect deteriorating economic and political conditions in more countries, the relative strength of the US economy and uneven enforcement of asylum restrictions.
Contributions: Associated Press
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