On September 6, the Arizona Sheriff’s Association expressed no confidence in Chris Magnus as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner. The letter addressed to President Joe Biden stated that the commissioner has failed in his duty to secure the southern border and is, therefore, unfit to lead.
Journalist Ali Bradley shared an image of the letter, signed by Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels and Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb, on Twitter yesterday.
In a follow-up post, Bradley reported that all 15 Arizona counties were present and unanimously voted "no confidence." The Southwestern Border Sheriff’s Coalition adopted the position as well, Bradley wrote.
The two sheriffs attributed Magnus’s failure to protect the border to his lack of federal experience, which they claimed has “become increasingly apparent.”
The letter stated, “Since Commissioner Magnus was appointed nearly nine months ago, we have continued to see an influx of illegal immigrants and illicit drugs cross our Southern border. What we have not seen is an increased partnership from the federal government including CBP to assist local law enforcement in preventing this activity.”
Efforts made by the CBP and the federal government to prevent drug trafficking and illegal immigration have been “woefully inadequate,” the Arizona Sheriff’s Association wrote.
Before being appointed to CBP commissioner, Magnus was the Tucson police chief. The Senate committee in October 2021 asked Magnus if he would describe the situation at the border as a “crisis.”
Magnus responded, “I agree that the current level of encounters at the southwest border presents significant challenges, particularly combined with an immigration system that most members seem to agree is broken.”
The Arizona Sheriff’s Association expressed a high priority on securing the southern border. “Unfortunately, the current administration and Commissioner Magnus do not appear to share this priority and the effects are being felt in Arizona and across the country,” the letter read.
The association specifically pointed to the increase in illegal drugs, overdoses, and violent crime across the country due to an inadequately protected border.
“As a result, the Arizona Sheriffs Association has formally adopted a position of No Confidence that Commissioner Magnus is fit to continue to lead U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” the sheriffs noted.
The CBP did not immediately reply to a request for comment.