CBP nominee's truth bomb: Yeah, Biden's policies contribute to the border crisis

AP Photo/Gregory Bull

Is Biden finally getting something right? Initial reports coming out of yesterday’s Senate confirmation hearing for Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus nominated to lead US Customs and Border Protection are encouraging. Magnus, under questioning from Republican senators, admitted that Biden’s policies for the border have helped create the Biden border crisis. That is a step in the right direction.


Chief Magnus voiced support for Title 42, the Trump era policy that allows immediate expulsion of illegal migrants due to public health concerns. The spread of the pandemic coming from the southern border has been slowed thanks to Title 42. He understands the importance of continuing that policy and of the need to vaccinate illegal migrants against COVID-19 to protect Border Patrol agents as well as Americans when the migrants are released into the country.

CBP officers are responsible for implementing the authority, which stems from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“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 said in response to a question from Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa whether the authority is necessary.

“CBP certainly has a responsibility with implementing this policy. But here’s the bottom line, senator, I will always comply with the law, even as it changes perhaps regarding Title 42, no matter what it is that the courts decide,” Magnus added.

Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden, who cited unanswered questions about the Portland protests last year, held up the nomination process of Magnus. Since then the Department of Homeland Security has provided additional information, thus allowing the nomination to move forward. The Biden border crisis continues to grow, yet Democrats have slow-walked the nomination for this important position. Team Biden is deliberately allowing the southern border to remain open for hundreds of thousands of migrants to cross over into the United States, either through a port of entry or through a spot that is unprotected by law enforcement.


A big problem with the Biden administration is that his cabinet is filled with people who check identity boxes but do not have the qualifications to be in the position they hold. Look no further than Mayor Pete, the Secretary of Transportation. He took a two-month paternity leave while shipping container ships were stacking up, waiting to dock and unload in California ports. Buttigieg is touted as the first gay cabinet secretary confirmed by the Senate. That boast is incorrect, by the way, as Richard Grenell was confirmed by the Senate and served as DNI in the Trump administration. Anyway, identity politics is important to the Democrat Party, no administration more so than the Biden administration. His nominees have been a parade of box-checkers. Chief Magnus, however, has a law enforcement career background and has seen the effect of bad immigration policy as police chief in Tucson.

So far in 2021, 1,541,000 apprehensions have been made, the highest level in 35 years, since 1986. We don’t have the final numbers from September yet but those should be released soon. The numbers are expected to be as high as past months, maybe higher. There is no end in sight to this nightmare and Joe Biden simply doesn’t care. He ignores the crisis of his own making, choosing to bow to the open borders progressive left instead of protecting the southern border, which is his top duty – to protect America’s borders. Biden’s border crisis is both a national security threat as well as a public health threat.


During his confirmation hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Cornyn asked Magnus about “pull and push factors” in illegal immigration. Magnus tried to skirt the question but did end up admitting that Biden’s policy has contributed to the border crisis.

SEN. CORNYN: “Are you familiar with the concept of pull and push factors when it comes to illegal immigration? For example, the push factors of poverty, violence, just people wanting to come to the United States for a better life, but also the pull factors, which include a perception that there will be no consequences associated with illegal immigration. Do you agree with me that the decision by Secretary Mayorkas to no longer detain or deport people who enter the country illegally is a pull factor, which encourages more people to make that long, dangerous trip?”

MAGNUS: “Senator, as I think we discussed, I think there are both strong push and pull factors out there.”

SEN. CORNYN: “I’m just asking about the pull factors. Now, would you agree with me that a policy of non-enforcement is a pull factor, which is encouraging more illegal immigration?”

MAGNUS: “Senator, thank you for the question. I think that there are many factors that contribute to this.”

SEN. CORNYN: “Is that one of them?”

MAGNUS: “It is certainly one part of it, yes, sir.”

Senator Mike Crapo, a Republican from Idaho, asked Magnus: “Do you think we should test migrants for Covid-19 before releasing them into the cities?” Magnus responded, “Senator, yes, I absolutely do.” Then he elaborated using his own professional experience.


“And in fact I appreciate where you’re coming from with this question because as a chief in Tucson, we’ve also experienced similar challenges and it puts a great deal of pressure on not only our NGOs, but on the really dedicated men and women of the Border Patrol. And, for that matter, ICE who have to interact with these folks so it’s a humanitarian matter, but it’s also a public health matter, and I would totally commit to that,” he added.

Magnus later said he wants to explore the possibility of vaccinating migrants who are encountered at the US-Mexico border against Covid-19. CBP doesn’t currently do so. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, however, does offer the vaccine to detainees.

Chief Magnus walked a line between answering questions from Democrats concerning humane treatment of illegal migrants and unaccompanied minors and questions from Republicans about upholding the law. There is a mention made of his husband being an immigrant so Magnus can check off that box for Team Biden.

“There is no question that we have to meet the challenge of asylum obligations as a nation, and also the security of our borders,” Magnus said, replying to a question from Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md., on how to balance the agency’s mission to enforce U.S. immigration laws “with the enforcement of our values.”

“I don’t believe that we have to sacrifice efficiency for humanity,” the police chief continued.

Magnus highlighted his own immigrant roots in his opening remarks, noting his father immigrated from Norway in 1921 and that his husband immigrated from Hong Kong.

But Magnus also stressed he would enforce the immigration laws as written when fielding questions from Republicans attacking the Biden administration’s border policies.


It appears Magnus will be confirmed by the Senate. We’ll see if he can do some good in the position. He will answer to Mayorkas and Biden, though, so there is only room for cautious optimism at this point. Nine months into the Biden administration and the continuing Biden border crisis certainly warrants someone to be in charge who has some real-life experience.

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John Stossel 12:00 AM | April 24, 2024