New Customs and Border Patrol chief sends staff welcome email, ignores illegal immigration

Chris Magnus acknowledged only that CBP's work includes "welcoming and vetting travelers."

Updated: December 15, 2021 - 10:50pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

New Customs and Border Protection (CBP) chief Chris Magnus sent a welcome email to staff on Tuesday, but he completely omitted any mention of illegal immigration.

The controversial Biden appointee was confirmed by the Senate last week and sworn in on Monday.

"I worked closely with CBP on a variety of issues important to border communities," the former Tucson, Ariz., police chief wrote in an email obtained by Just the News.

Illegal immigration is skyrocketing, and CBP encounters have more than tripled since 2020.

Magnus, however, did not mention immigration in his letter, choosing instead to mention in passing only that CBP's work includes "welcoming and vetting travelers."

He noted that he was proud of prioritizing relationships between police officers and community members, implementing "evidence-based best practices, promoting reform, and insisting on police accountability and transparency with the public."

"I know that CBP has faced some unprecedented challenges over the past year," Magnus wrote. "The nature of our mission set is constantly changing." 

More than 64,000 people now work under Magnus.

Both the National Sheriffs Association and the Arizona Sheriffs Association opposed Magnus' nomination to lead CBP. They wrote that as Tucson chief Magnus did not assist Border Patrol agents and he lacked the experience needed to lead the massive law enforcement organization.

Magnus has faced several lawsuits throughout his more than 40 years in public safety.

In 2007, he faced a lawsuit following accusations of making racist jokes towards black police officers while he was police chief of Richmond, Calif. The case was later dismissed.

Magnus also faced sexual harassment and retaliation allegations, which he settled out of court in 2017 for an undisclosed sum, according to Fox News. The then-Richmond chief said he was targeted because he is gay and the claims are "bogus." 

That same year, he stood against the Trump administration's stance on sanctuary cities by writing in a New York Times op-ed that Tucson is not a sanctuary city but takes "pride in being welcoming to immigrants."

Before Magnus' first day on the job, one border patrol agent told Fox News the new agency head "is pretty much hated, especially by those of us in the Tucson Sector since we know him."

"Somehow he has made a career off of hating law enforcement," the officer said. "He destroyed [the Tucson Police Department] and will do the same to CBP as a whole."