President Joe Biden announced two key immigration official nominations Monday as migrants continue to arrive at the southern border in record numbers.
Police Chief Chris Magnus of Tucson, Arizona, will be nominated to head Customs and Border Protection and immigrant rights advocate Ur Jaddou will be tapped to lead U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), according to a statement.
“They are highly-regarded and accomplished professionals with deep experience in their respective fields,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement, Bloomberg reported. “Together they will help advance the Department of Homeland Security’s mission to ensure the safety and security of the American people.”
Magnus will work on addressing the continued increase in migrants arriving at the southern border if confirmed by the Senate, Bloomberg reported.
Customs and Border Protection officials encountered over 172,000 migrants including nearly 19,000 unaccompanied minors in March, according to the agency. The U.S. is on track to encounter more migrants at the southern border this year than in any of the past 20 years, Mayorkas said in a statement. CBP officials have encountered over 569,879 migrants since October 2020 including nearly 50,000 unaccompanied minors.
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“Because of Tucson’s proximity to the border, he [Magnus] has extensive experience in addressing immigration issues,” the Biden administration said in a statement. Magnus is the son of an immigrant from Norway and has served as police chief in three cities.
Magnus criticized former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies targeting sanctuary cities in a 2017 op-ed for The New York Times. Magnus said the policies made illegal immigrants fear police would notify immigration authorities causing them not to call the police for help.
“Many community members have told me that Latinos are not turning to us for help or working with us as often as they have in the past. Their growing sense of fear and distrust is clearly a consequence of the anti-immigrant rhetoric coming from Mr. Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions,” Magnus wrote.
Magnus added that most law enforcement officials aren’t affected by sanctuary policies because they already work with federal authorities to prosecute drug cartels, human traffickers and gangs.
Jaddou recently served as the director of DHS Watch and has over 20 years of experience in immigration law and policy, the Biden administration said in a statement. She served as the chief counsel to USCIS from June 2014 to January 2017 and her parents are immigrants from Iraq and Mexico.
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