No reason given for CBP commissioner’s resignation, but internal hostilities may have played role

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Chris Magnus resigned this past weekend, days after he had apparently been asked by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to step down but refused to do so. On Saturday, Magnus said he would be leaving, various news outlets reported.

In a statement, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said President Joe Biden had accepted the resignation “and appreciates Commissioner Magnus’ nearly forty years of service and the contributions he made to police reform during his tenure as police chief in three U.S. cities.”  

RELATED STORY: Following push from advocates, CBP to disband cover-up units that shielded abusive border agents

Magnus, a former Tucson police chief and the agency’s first openly gay commissioner, served just under a year and had been confirmed in a nearly party line vote. While no reason was given for the resignation, speculation that Magnus may have been pushed out by internal hostility wouldn’t be totally out of the question.

The Border Patrol’s union made its first ever endorsement in 2016 for the insurrectionist president, and endorsed him again in 2020. The union’s president, Brandon Judd, is an active border agent who has promoted racist “great replacement” conspiracy theory, and is a fervent GOP operative, appearing in numerous campaign ads for Republicans. People within the government have also been leaking stuff to right-wing rags like Breitbart from the start of the administration.

“On Twitter, [Magnus] has been vocal on about immigration issues, writing that Title 42, a measure instituted during the Trump administration that allows border agents to quickly turn back migrants, ‘comes at a heavy cost to many asylum seekers,’” The Los Angeles Times reported. “After criticism about offensive humor within the ranks, including Facebook posts that made fun of dead migrants and lawmakers, Magnus has clamped down on social media activity.”

Following a push from immigrant and human rights advocates, Magnus also signed the May 2022 memo eliminating the corrupt units that have for years colluded to cover up horrific abuses committed by Border Patrol agents. Following a surge of deaths related to vehicle pursuits by border agents, Magnus also said updated policy would be released, but nothing has been made public so far. CBP this past summer also completed its probe into the abuses of Haitian migrants at Del Rio, but many were outraged after the report revealed that not one single victim was interviewed by investigators.

@CBPChrisMagnus and I may not see eye-to-eye on everything, but I know this: he is one of few actually attempting to reform #BorderPatrol,” tweeted Alliance San Diego Executive Director Andrea Guerrero following initial reports that he’d been asked to leave. “Calls for his resignation from the @AliMayorkas and @POTUS to protect BP is deeply concerning.” Jenn Budd, a former senior Border Patrol agent turned whistleblower, tweeted that “[w]atching @SecMayorkas get railroaded by @BPUnion is frightening. Magnus was the only official trying to bring accountability.”

In a tweet, the Border Patrol union said Magnus “deserved to be fired. As a crisis rages at our border he focused on imaginary BP ‘culture’ problems instead of enforcing our laws.” Ah, so abusive agents who want to starve brown babies (remember that?), who mock the deaths of migrant children in U.S. custody, and who share Stephen Miller’s world views are an “imaginary” problem. Got that, folks? 

Republicans had already made it clear that Mayorkas is at the top of the list of Biden administration officials they’ve targeted should they take control of the U.S. House, which continues to hang in the air following the 2022 midterms. These Republicans repeatedly cite people arriving at the southern border in search of safety. But what they never cite is how the anti-asylum Title 42 has actually created a rise in apprehensions.


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Jordan is pushing for Mayorkas impeachment based on ridiculous lie that ‘we no longer have a border’

Some of the worst of the worst of House Republicans are endorsing the impeachment of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) secretary should they take the chamber this November, CNN reports.

It needs to be stated first and foremost that these Republicans haven’t laid out any legitimate claims to justify the removal of Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, because there are none. Yet Jim Jordan has falsely claimed that he should be impeached by the chamber “because we no longer have a border.” That’s news to all of us. Jordan could possibly chair the committee that would be tasked with impeachment proceedings should the GOP take the House.

CNN reports that while Jordan and fellow extremists say impeachment should go forward, “Kevin McCarthy supposedly hasn’t really taken a side yet.” His allies claim, at least right now, that there’s “little appetite” for the idea. But that’s a ridiculous thought. McCarthy has already gone in with the extremists, and he’s made it clear extremism controls the agenda.

CNN reports that “Democrats argue the talk is politically motivated,” but that’s exactly what it is. While the insurrectionist president was legitimately impeached (twice) for abuse of power, obstruction of Congress, and inciting a deadly insurrection, the CNN report itself plainly states the political nature of the push. Some Republicans “believe they’ll have an easier time convincing McCarthy and their GOP colleagues to go along with impeaching a Biden political appointee versus a President who was elected to his position, a more politically tenable move that still would throw red meat to the base,” the report said.

So, Mayorkas appears to be the likeliest target. While the GOP bill targeting him has just 31 signatures from the 200 plus Republican caucus, it’s the most out of the other impeachment bills they’ve pushed, CNN said. Plus, targeting him falls in line with their sloppy campaign lying about immigrants rather than talking about their extremist anti-abortion agenda. 

Any impeachment in the House requires conviction in the Senate for full removal, but in that chamber, just two senators are supportive of the idea—and it’s two of the ones you’d expect. The Texas Tribune reports that Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham wrote a letter that claimed the number of apprehensions at the border were “grounds for impeachment.”

But if they really believe that (and they don’t), both Cruz and Graham would’ve sent that letter to Chad Wolf, who was the unlawfully appointed acting DHS secretary under the insurrectionist president. On Wolf’s corrupt watch, the anti-asylum Title 42 policy that was pushed by noted white supremacist Stephen Miller and that used the novel coronavirus as an excuse to quickly deport asylum-seekers in violation of their rights led to increased encounters from April 2020 on, American Immigration Council said

But we didn’t see either Cruz or Graham calling on Wolf to resign after he was found by a nonpartisan government watchdog to have been illegally installed in office, did we? Nor did we see Cruz or Graham call on Wolf to resign when he presided over a blatantly political event that was later deemed illegal by the Office of Special Counsel. It’s almost like they’re just full of it. Shrugs.

Former aides of then-President Donald Trump say GOP lawmakers sought presidential pardons after the attack on the U.S. Capitol during Day 5 of the Jan. 6 committee hearings.

— The Associated Press (@AP) June 23, 2022

“I believe Mayorkas has committed high crimes and misdemeanors,” House Republican Andy Biggs claimed to CNN. “You might see some (impeachment pushes) on Biden, but certainly Mayorkas, what he has done, has just been unconscionable. I’m pushing hard.” Do you think he’ll push as hard as when he suggested to the insurrectionist president’s chief of staff some ways to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 election? Or maybe as hard as when he sought a pardon from the insurrectionist president, according to Jan. 6 testimony. When Republicans scream about lawlessness, it always so much more about their own behavior than anything else.

Republicans plot a wave of impeachments if they take the House

Republicans are teeing up their next move toward making the U.S. government completely unable to function. If they take control of the House, as they are favored to do, they will come in already having laid the groundwork to begin impeaching Cabinet officials, starting with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandra Mayorkas.

On Monday, 133 Republican House members sent Mayorkas a letter accusing him of “disregard for the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws” and actions that have “willingly endangered American citizens and undermined the rule of law and our nation’s sovereignty.” Basically, Mayorkas has not kept every single one of Donald Trump’s hateful immigration policies in place. 

RELATED STORY: Dear reporters: Please don't parrot back whatever noted liar Kevin McCarthy says at the border today

Though the letter doesn’t use the word “impeach,” it makes a not very veiled threat: “Your failure to secure the border and enforce the laws passed by Congress raises grave questions about your suitability for office.”

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy made the threat explicit in the Monday border visit he used to try to distract from having been caught in a set of big lies about his attitude toward Trump and Jan. 6. “This is his moment in time to do his job,” McCarthy said of Mayorkas. “But at any time if someone is derelict in their job, there is always the option of impeaching somebody.”

Mayorkas is supposedly “derelict,” while Republicans have nothing bad to say about expensive and useless theater conducted at the border by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

But a move to impeach Mayorkas probably wouldn’t be the end of Republican efforts to hobble President Biden's administration and make being a Cabinet official from one party punishable by impeachment if the other party held the House. The reporting at Axios can be faulted on many fronts, but the outlet has excellent Republican sourcing. Here’s what it takes from its sources: “For the first year of President Biden's term, it was mostly the hard right of the GOP who entertained impeaching the president and his Cabinet secretaries. But those deliberations are now happening among a much larger group — even with virtually no precedent or legal justification.”

One Cabinet official has ever been impeached in U.S. history. Republicans are getting ready to make that commonplace, not because Cabinet officials suddenly magically got worse, but because the Republican Party is committed to sabotaging not just a Democratic administration but voters’ faith that the government can function effectively.


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