Mayorkas reportedly indicated to Magnus on Wednesday that he could resign or President Biden could terminate him. The commissioner was defiant in an interview with the Los Angeles Times on Friday, expressing pride in the work he had done and giving no hint that he would throw in the towel.
He resigned the next day.
Deputy Commissioner Troy Miller will be acting commissioner until Magnus can be replaced. Before Magnus’ confirmation, Miller acted as commissioner for the first 11 months of the Biden administration.
In its operational update for September, CBP recorded more than 2.4 million enforcement encounters with illegal aliens along the southwestern U.S. border, an all-time record. 1.5 million of those were in the Big Bend, El Paso, Laredo, Del Rio, and Rio Grande Valley border patrol sectors.
The U.S. Senate confirmed Magnus’ nomination in December 2021 after a confirmation hearing in which he said he supported limited border wall construction but declined to call illegal immigration a “crisis.”
Throughout Magnus’ time in office, the agency has been enforcing a Title 42 public health order to expel illegal aliens, originally implemented at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended earlier this year that the policy be rescinded, an order by a federal judge has kept it in place.
Before the federal government tried to rescind it, Mayorkas argued the order is a public health measure and not an immigration policy. Republicans have pointed to its value as a tool to rapidly expel illegal immigrants and inadmissible aliens at the border without having to jump through the usual legal hoops.
One third of the encounters with illegal immigrants in September ended with an expulsion under Title 42 of the U.S. Code.
Magnus repeatedly emphasized factors such as global turmoil and economic distress as the reasons for increased illegal immigration, stances Mayorkas has also repeated. Vice President Kamala Harris claimed in an interview in September that the border is secure.
The former commissioner also presided over the investigation into unfounded claims that border agents “whipped” people during a surge of tens of thousands of Haitian illegal immigrants crossing the Rio Grande into Val Verde County.
Border security and illegal immigration were among the top issues for Texas voters, according to surveys conducted prior to last week’s general election. Gov. Greg Abbott, who has made border security the preeminent concern in his administration, handily won reelection with 55 percent of the vote.
A copy of Magnus’ resignation letter can be found below.
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Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."