Washington, DC – The head of the nation’s largest federal law enforcement agency was told to quit or be fired after illegal borders crossings into the United States hit the highest level ever recorded.
Two sources familiar with the matter told CBS News that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has asked U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Chris Magnus to step down this week or face termination.
CBP Deputy Commissioner Troy Miller has been overseeing day-to-day operations of the law enforcement agency ever since initial concerns arose over Commissioner Magnus’ leadership.
The commissioner confirmed to the Los Angeles Times on Nov. 11 that Mayorkas had asked him to resign.
But the CBP commissioner has not yet submitted his resignation.
“I am excited about the progress I made and look forward to continuing that work,” he said.
Commissioner Magnus told the Los Angeles Times that he defended his record to Mayorkas and told him that he didn’t want to leave the agency.
“I expressed to him that I felt there was no justification for me to resign when I still cared deeply about the work I was doing and felt that that work was focused on the things I was hired to do in the first place,” he explained.
The CBP commissioner was confirmed by Congress in December of 2021, CBS News reported.
In fiscal year 2022, which ended in September, CBP recorded 2.4 million encounters with illegal migrants.
That number was an increase of 37 percent over the same time period last year, according to the Associated Press.
The annual total broke two million for the first time ever in August.
The record number illegal border crossings is twice the highest level it ever was when President Donald Trump’s administration was running the country, the Associated Press reported.
CBP is responsible keeping U.S. borders secure, facilitating trade and legal travel, and stopping contraband and illegal drugs from crossing into the country, CBS News reported.
Some critics have said that Commissioner Magnus was taking the fall for Mayorkas’ failure to properly handle the alleged whipping incident that never actually occurred on the Texas border.
President Joe Biden has continued to push the false narrative that border patrol agents whipped Haitian migrants in a controversial photo even though the person who filmed it said that wasn’t what was happening.
Mayorkas initially defended the border patrol agents struggling to stop the influx of illegal immigrants, FOX News reported.
He told reporters that the images being circulated depicted the reins on the horses, not whips, CNN reported.
But under pressure from Democrats, the Homeland Security secretary changed his tune the next day.
“I was horrified by what I saw,” Mayorkas told CNN. “I’m going to let the investigation run its course. But the pictures that I observed troubled me profoundly. That defies all of the values that we seek to instill in our people.”
He told an outraged congressional committee that the border patrol agents featured in the videos of the altercation with the Haitian migrants had been taken off the front lines, FOX News reported.
Mayorkas said the agents had been put on desk duty pending an investigation into the incident.
In July, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that Border Patrol agents accused of “whipping” migrants at the Texas border in July of 2021 will be disciplined for their actions.
CBP officials released the findings of a more than 500-page report on the investigation into the incident on July 8 and said no agents were found to have struck any of the illegal immigrants, ABC News reported.
However, the agency determined that mounted Border Patrol agents had used unnecessary force and profanity-laced threats that they would push the migrants back into the river.
“The report showed there were failures to make good decisions at multiple levels of the organization,” CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus said in a statement.
“Failures to maintain command and control over Horse Patrol Units, lack of appropriate policies and training, and the overall chaotic nature of the situation at Del Rio at the time contributed to the incident,” Magnus continued. “Several agents engaged in unprofessional or dangerous behavior, including one instance in which an agent used denigrating and offensive language.”
He said CBP would review its disciplinary process and outlined changes – including a clarification of its chain-of-command – that would be coming to the federal law enforcement agency, ABC News reported.
CBP’s Officer of Professional Responsibility referred the findings to federal prosecutors in Texas.
The U.S. Attorney in Texas declined to bring any criminal charges against any of the agents, ABC News reported.