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The Senate confirmed Tucson police chief Chris Magnus as the head of CBP by a vote of 50-47 following a contentious confirmation process.
Magnus, who currently serves as Tucson, Arizona, police chief, deleted his Twitter account last week after repeated police department controversies made national news. Officer Ryan Remington was fired recently after he fatally shot a 61-year-old man in a mobility scooter who was accused of stealing a toolbox from a Tucson Walmart.
Chris Magnus testifies before the Senate Finance Committee on his nomination to be the next U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Rod Lamkey/Pool via AP) (Rod Lamkey/Pool via AP)
“His use of deadly force in this incident is a clear violation of department policy and directly contradicts multiple aspects of our use of force and training,” Magnus said, also noting he was “deeply disturbed and troubled” by the slaying.
The new CBP head also made headlines when it was revealed he settled a sexual harassment and retaliation case against a former member of his protective detail. The case was settled in 2017 out of court for an undisclosed amount and was described by Magnus as “entirely bogus.”
Additionally, claims surfaced that Magnus made racist jokes while at work and discriminated against Black officers.
Another lawsuit, which covered claims going back to 2006 and 2007 and was eventually rejected in 2012 by a jury, could prove to be an issue for Chris Magnus at a time when Democrats and even some Biden administration officials have been seeking to drum up accusations of racism against Border Patrol – which CBP oversees.
Magnus’ nomination was also scrutinized by immigration hawks, who warned against the new CBP director’s lackluster record of immigration enforcement.
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
“Secretary Mayorkas may have been right when he referred to Chris Magnus as a ‘highly-regarded and accomplished professional with deep experience,’” RJ Hauman, head of government relations for FAIR, previously told Fox News. “Not only is he highly-regarded by open borders activists and illegal aliens, he has a lengthy track record opposing immigration enforcement.”
“While that may be a perfect resume in the eyes of the White House, it is disqualifying and downright dangerous,” he said.
As CBP commissioner, Magnus will oversee key immigration agencies, including Border Patrol.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw and Louis Casiano contributed reporting.