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Immigration

Biden picks Tucson, AZ police chief as CBP nominee

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President Joe Biden on Monday picked Tucson, Arizona police chief Chris Magnus as his nominee to lead U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), along with a slate of nominees for other high-ranking immigration and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) jobs, the White House announced.

Biden’s choice for CBP commissioner comes at a vital juncture, with a record-breaking surge of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in the past few months, especially thousands of unaccompanied children. The surge, coupled with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, has caused a crisis in migrant detention facilities, where many migrants are being kept in unsanitary, overcrowded conditions with poor accommodations, among other things. Recently, there have also been allegations of sexual assault against migrant children in some of these facilities.

Magnus has been the chief of police for Tucson since 2016 and has previously led the police departments in Fargo, North Dakota and Richmond, California. “In each of these cities,” the White House press release reads, “Magnus developed a reputation as a progressive police leader who focused on relationship-building between the police and community, implementing evidence-based best practices, promoting reform, and insisting on police accountability.”

“Because of Tucson’s proximity to the border,” the press release also stated, “he has extensive experience in addressing immigration issues.”

Notably, according to The Washington Post, Magnus “opposed efforts to make Tucson a ‘sanctuary city,’ but he generally eschewed cooperation with federal immigration authorities.” This put him “at odds with the Border Patrol union — and many of the agents and officials who will potentially be under his command,” according to the newspaper.

Magnus’ nomination on Monday came alongside the announcement five others for top DHS and immigration roles.

The rest of the picks consist of John Tien for deputy secretary of the DHS; Jon Meyer for general counsel of the DHS; Ur Jaddou for director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; Jen Easterly for director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency; and Rob Silvers for undersecretary for strategy, policy, and plans at the DHS.

“I am excited that @POTUS has nominated an extraordinary group of individuals for critical leadership positions in @DHSgov,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas tweeted Monday.

MORE ON SEC. MAYORKAS: Report: Mayorkas weighing return to border wall construction

“They are highly regarded and accomplished professionals with deep experience in their respective fields,” Mayorkas continued. “Together they will help advance the Department of Homeland Security’s mission to ensure the safety and security of the American people. I look forward to working with the Senate in support of their swift confirmation.”

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.

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Elections

GOP bill proposes extra measures to ensure noncitizens are unable to vote in federal elections

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GOP members of both the U.S. House and Senate introduced a bill to add safeguards to ensure that non U.S. citizens who are already prohibited from voting in federal elections, do not do so. The bill seeks to amend the National Voter Registration Act to require documentary proof of United States citizenship to register to vote.

The Center Square reports that It would require states to obtain proof of citizenship – in person – when registering an individual to vote. Applicants would have to provide proof of citizenship when they register to vote in person, when applying for a motor vehicle license, and when applying to vote by mail. The bill lists accepted citizenship documentation and requirements for voter registration agencies.

U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, led a coalition of 49 Republicans to introduce the Safeguard American Voter Eligibility (SAVE) Act in the U.S. House. U.S. Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, with several cosponsors, introduced the same bill in the Senate.

Citing the border crisis and the greatest number of foreign nationals illegally entering the country in U.S. history, the measure’s supporters expressed alarm that instead of being deported, many are being registered to vote.

“There is currently an unprecedented and a clear and present danger to the integrity of our election system,” House Speaker Mike Johnson said. “And that is the threat of non-citizens and illegal aliens voting in our elections. In the last five and a half months or so, I’ve been to over 101 cities doing events all around the country in more than half the states. The first or second question that I’m asked in every public forum is about election security. Americans are deeply concerned about this. And it doesn’t matter where you live or whether you’re in a blue state or a red state, everyone’s concerned.”

Johnson blamed President Joe Biden and his administration’s policies for for what he described as widespread concern about election integrity.

“… we now have so many non-citizens in the country that if only one out of 100 of those voted, they would cast hundreds of thousands of votes,” the speaker added. “And since our elections are so razor thin in these days that we’re in, just a few precincts in a few states decide the makeup of Congress and who is elected to the White House. This is a dangerously high number, and it’s a great concern to millions and millions of Americans. It could obviously change the outcome of our elections, and this is not an empty threat or concern.”

It is already a federal crime for non-citizens to vote in a federal election. Despite this, Johnson said, “no current mechanism to ensure only those registering or voting are actually citizens. … If a nefarious actor wants to intervene in our elections, all they have to do is check a box on a form and sign their name. That’s it. That’s all that’s required. And there’s a very small chance that illegal would get caught [because] states do not have the election infrastructure in place to confirm what they’ve said.”

Johnson said noncitizens “can simply go to their local welfare office or the DMV and register to vote there,” adding that “states are currently prohibited from asking someone to prove that they’re a citizen when they use the federal voter registration form.”

He also gave examples of “a growing number of localities” that are “blurring the lines for non-citizens by allowing them to vote in municipal local elections.

“You might not know this, but non-citizens are voting,” he warned Americans. “Democrats have expressed a desire to turn on citizens and voters. That’s what this open border has been all about.”

Roy said the proposed SAVE Act “would thwart Democrat efforts to cement one-party rule by upholding and strengthening current law that permits only U.S. citizens to vote in Federal elections.”

Lee said the bill should “pass right away” and unanimously in both houses of Congress. “The only reason to oppose this … would be if you want noncitizens to vote.”

It also would create a new program requiring the Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration to share information with state registration systems. States would be required to identify noncitizens attempting to register to vote by accessing data in DHS’ Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements program and the SSA’s Social Security Number Verification Service. The information would be compared with data from state agencies that supply state identification cards or driver’s licenses.

The bill also would require states to remove non-citizens from existing voter rolls and increases federal penalties for those who register non-citizens to vote in federal elections.

 

 

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