Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Christopher Magnus has resigned from his post after telling DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas earlier in the week that he would not do so.
By Saturday, however, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre released a statement that President Joe Biden had accepted Magnus’ resignation and appreciated his service over the last year.
“President Biden 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,” Jean-Pierre said. “The President thanks Mr. Magnus for his service at CBP and wishes him well.”
The resignation ended an impasse that lasted most of the week as Magnus tried to fight for his job and avoid being fired.
“I want to make this clear: I have no plans to resign as CBP Commissioner,” Magnus asserted in a statement to his staff on Wednesday, according to The Washington Post. “I didn’t take this job as a resume builder. I came to Washington, DC — moved my family here — because I care about this agency, its mission, and the goals of this Administration.”
Magnus claimed he was being asked to resign because he wouldn’t extend a retention bonus to Border Patrol head Raul Ortiz, who disagreed with him about reforms to the Border Patrol.
He attended a meeting of the border chiefs concerning Ortiz on Tuesday even though Mayorkas ordered him not to.
“After me making extensive attempts to reach [Mayorkas] and discuss the matter, I went to the meeting so I could engage with the chiefs on various issues and concerns,” Magnus said. “I also met with Chief Ortiz to see how we might best work together moving forward.”
Too little, too late
But it was apparently too little, too late for Magnus.
House Republicans had also been asking for Magnus to be fired because of his performance issues and the record number of border crossings under his tenure.
Magnus reportedly focused too much on the culture of the Border Patrol and not enough on the millions of immigrants streaming across the border.
He also failed to attend some White House events and reportedly fell asleep during meetings.