December 9, 2021
By Brian Lonergan
In less than a year of the Joe Biden presidency, we have seen the rapid destruction of our once-robust border security, and all the bad that comes with that destruction. The effects can be seen in overcrowded detention centers, thousands of foreign nationals massed under a Texas bridge, and secret flights of aliens into U.S. cities under cover of darkness, to name a few.
Though the Biden Administration has authored this malaise, there is plenty of blame to go around. Congress has enabled the noxious Biden agenda by pushing anti-borders legislation and voting to confirm his extremist nominees. With mid-terms around the corner, those who made this mess possible cannot hide from culpability. They are neck-deep in this with Mr. 59 Percent Job Disapproval and his radical, activist-driven immigration policies.
Even with the Biden immigration plan in full collapse, members of the Senate are still happy to keep chugging along with it. This could be seen in the recent vote to confirm Chris Magnus, the White House nominee for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) chief.
With the exception of omnibus spending bills, it has become a foregone conclusion that Democrats will vote in lockstep for whatever their party leadership commands. Not so with Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), the lone Republican who crossed party lines to vote for Magnus.
Collins’ previous statements are in opposition to her vote for the new CBP chief. In 2018 she joined more than 30 GOP senators in a resolution supporting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at a time when the anti-borders Left was calling for the abolition of the agency.
Earlier this year she joined a delegation of senators at the border near McAllen, Texas and said, “This system is inhumane. It’s dangerous. It’s bringing not only vulnerable women and children into this country illegally, but also those who are spreading fentanyl and heroin throughout our cities.”
This is what’s known in the political arena as empty rhetoric, because even a cursory examination into Magnus’ background reveals a nominee with a history of impeding ICE’s mission and supporting highly irresponsible sanctuary policies. She ought to have known better than to support him.
Magnus, the former chief of police in Richmond, Calif., who recently held the same position in Tucson, Ariz., has been a frequent critic of ICE efforts to remove dangerous criminal aliens from communities. He instead favors “community policing,” which by his definition includes opposing cooperation between ICE and local law enforcement to remove dangerous illegal aliens from our cities.
According to documents from the Richmond Police Department obtained in an investigation by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), Magnus has a track record of animosity for ICE working with local law enforcement to make communities safer. He edited policies for his staff that explicitly limited their cooperation and interaction with federal immigration authorities.
Magnus penned a December 2017 op-ed in the New York Times accusing the Trump administration of implementing “anti-immigrant” policies, said he was “deeply troubled” by its campaign against sanctuary cities. In 2017, he publicly rejected an order from then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to prioritize enforcement actions for illegal aliens convicted of crimes, saying at the time: “We will not compromise our commitment to community policing and public safety by taking on immigration enforcement responsibilities that appropriately rest with federal authorities.”
In perhaps the most dramatic example of his radical beliefs while serving as police chief in Richmond, Magnus was photographed holding a “Black Lives Matter” (BLM) sign with demonstrators at a rally. After the Richmond Police Officers Association publicly complained that he was violating state law by politicking in uniform, Magnus replied, “I would do it again.”
In short, Magnus’s resume sounds like one for a senior fellow in the far-left ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights efforts, not for a law enforcement professional tasked with the critical job of protecting our nation’s borders. Yet that is who Collins and the Democrat caucus voted for to fill this vital role.
Why does all of this matter? The Biden White House has already caused incalculable damage to our nation’s border security. While American citizens faced COVID mask mandates and vaccine requirements for work, Biden allowed untold foreign nationals to enter our country illegally with little or no COVID screening. His lax border enforcement caused a humanitarian crisis as over 15,000 Haitian migrants surged the border and set up a tent city in Texas. This kind of chaos will soon be more prevalent in American communities far from south Texas.
To vote to enable more of this madness is unconscionable. Biden must be held accountable for this looming immigration disaster, but so, too, must his enablers under the Capitol Dome.
Brian Lonergan is director of communications at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.
Also published at: Brian Lonergan, Biden’s Border Enablers Thank You for Your Support, American Greatness, December 9, 2021.
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