Chris Magnus, President Joe Biden’s pick to lead U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), made a number of remarks during his Senate confirmation hearing that suggest that the Biden administration’s immigration and border policies require significant change. His unexpected rebuff to the administration’s policies reveals that not even open borders candidates like Magnus can find their current system effective and sustainable. Below are statements made by Magnus that warrant further examination:
Magnus on Title 42:
- When asked about whether Title 42, a public health order implemented by the Trump administration that allows for quick removal of illegal aliens from the country during disease outbreaks, is necessary Magnus replied: “As a paramedic for 10 years public health has always been one of my top concerns, and because of that I think it’s absolutely imperative that we do everything possible to stop the spread of Covid. And Title 42 is a CDC authority, and I think it helps with this.”
Magnus on Border Wall:
- Despite the Biden administration halting virtually all southern border construction and promising not to build another foot, Magnus pushed back and expressed support for continued construction, agreeing that it the wall is a valuable tool. “I’m not taking issue with that [the wall as a vital tool],” he said. “I think there are some gaps where that [the border wall]could make sense.”
Magnus on Sanctuary Jurisdictions:
- Magnus has also had an extensive track record supporting sanctuary jurisdictions—areas that prohibit the cooperation between federal immigration authorities and local and state law enforcement—but admitted that they were incentivizing illegal immigration. When asked by Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) whether sanctuary jurisdictions serve as a “pull factor that encourages more people to make that long and dangerous trip,” Magnus conceded, “It is certainly one part of it, yes sir.”
Magnus on Illegal Aliens and COVID-19:
- The Biden administration has released thousands of unvaccinated, untested, and COVID-19 positive illegal aliens into the interior of country during the past year. Yet, the Tucson, Arizona, police chief took an opposing stance stating that “migrants should be immunized” before being released into the country.
Magnus on Illegal Crossings:
- Lawmakers allied with the Biden administration have expressed interest in decriminalizing illegal border crossings. However, when asked by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) if he believes “that illegally crossing the border should remain a crime under federal law,” Magnus replied, “Senator, I do.”
Many of Magnus’ statements are contrary to the immigration platform and policies of the Biden administration, and are even at odds with the policies he instituted in Tucson.
Needless to say, these comments were likely made to please a group of senators during an intense confirmation hearing, in which his pro-sanctuary stances call into question his fitness to oversee immigration and border officials. It is likely that what Magnus says in his confirmation hearings and what he would do as commissioner of CBP are diametrically opposite of one another. Combined with his controversial career experience and the expected influence from the Biden administration’s open borders advocates, its highly doubtful Magnus commits to any of these confirmation hearing remarks.