President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced two critics of former President Donald Trump as his nominees to lead border law enforcement and the immigration services.
Biden has nominated Tucson, Arizona, Police Chief Chris Magnus to be Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner and Ur Mendoza Jaddou as Director of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). CBP is responsible for securing the border, countering terrorism, and combating transnational crime. USCIS handles legal immigration services.
The White House pointed out that Magnus has “extensive experience in addressing immigration issues” because of Tucson’s proximity to the border.
Magnus publicly criticized the Trump administration’s policy to punish “sanctuary cities” that refused to cooperate with federal authorities, arguing that the policy damaged relations between law enforcement and migrant communities, and that this was what would make cities more dangerous.
Magnus also received national attention when a photo of him in Richmond, California, went viral in December 2014. At the time, he was holding a Black Lives Matter sign while in uniform. He later argued that his action conveyed a message the police department wanted to build bridges and strengthen relationships with persons of color.
Ur Mendoza Jaddou, an immigration expert, was also a Trump critic. She served as chief counsel to USCIS during the Obama administration. Most recently, she was director of the non-profit Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Watch, which was critical of the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
The number of illegal immigrants trying to cross the southern border has reached record highs under the Biden administration, which is facing growing pressure to fix the issue.
Meanwhile, Biden’s “border czar” Roberta Jacobson announced her resignation last week.
Among Biden’s Wednesday nominations, John Tien, an Asian American, was tapped as Deputy Secretary of DHS; Jen Easterly as head Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency; Jonathan Meyer as the DHS General Counsel; and Robert Silvers as DHS Under Secretary for Strategy, Policy, and Plans.
All nominees need to be confirmed by the Senate.