President Joe Biden announced Monday he has picked outspoken critics of former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies to hold key posts in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Biden named Tucson, Arizona Police Chief Chris Magnus to be commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Ur Mendoza Jaddou has been nominated to be director of the Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The Associated Press reported on two of six DHS nominations Biden announced Monday:
Magnus publicly challenged the Trump administration’s efforts to punish cities that refused to cooperate with tougher immigration enforcement policies, arguing that it damaged relations between law enforcement and migrant communities.
Jaddou most recently was director of DHS Watch, which was broadly critical of the Trump administration’s efforts to curtail both legal and illegal immigration.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Magnus faced criticism prior to his job in Tucson when he was the police chief in Richmond, California, both for racism charges and for supporting Black Lives Matter:
Magnus survived a racial discrimination lawsuit that had been filed by seven black sergeants, lieutenants and captains soon after his hiring. In 2012, a jury threw out all claims of harassment and bias and awarded no damages after a three-month trial.
The officers had claimed Magnus favored staff that was not African American and made racially insensitive remarks. But Magnus countered that the plaintiffs resented him because he was white, gay and an outsider.
Last year, Magnus attended a local protest and held up a sign reading “Black Lives Matter,” the slogan used in national efforts to root out cases of police brutality. The Richmond officers union criticized him, but he responded that he would do it again.
“Together they will help advance the Department of Homeland Security’s mission to ensure the safety and security of the American people,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas said in a statement about the six nominees, including Magnus and Jaddou.
The AP report noted that while the Biden administration has turned back some adults based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) coronavirus health mandate it has been allowing Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) and some families to enter the country.
“Last month, the U.S. government picked up nearly 19,000 children traveling alone across the Mexican border,” AP reported. “The largest monthly number ever recorded.”
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