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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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Immigration

Local TX developer accused of selling land to illegal immigrants creating entire town with ‘four cartels operating there’

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Roughly 20 miles northeast of Downtown Houston, Texas, is an entire town where cartels are operating from due to a local developer selling land to border crossers without any paperwork. William ‘Trey’ Harris has been accused of “creating a sprawling illegal migrant town” by “allowing buyers to purchase land without the need to prove income or credit” reports The Daily Mail. 

As a result of selling the plots at Colony Ridge without any documentation, an estimated 75,000 people, primarily illegal immigrants, have been able to buy homes and create a town which The Daily Mail reports has at least four separate cartels operating from. The settlement area is approximately 60 square miles in size, and has been developed by Harris through his company Terrano Houston, which uses Spanish language marketing.

Senior National Security Fellow Todd Bensman claimed Harris has been selling off plots direct to a borrowers for a few hundred dollars without conducting any background checks.

A statement on behalf of the company said: ‘The safety of our communities is our foremost goal, and all of our subdivision plots, roads and other infrastructure are built to code and approved by County engineering teams…Our developments have put the American Dream of home ownership within reach for tens of thousands of middle- and working-class Texas families.”

The statement continues: “In addition to these homes, we are also proud of our efforts to improve local infrastructure and bring businesses to the area, as well as our work with local public and charter schools to improve education for our residents’ children and our work with local law enforcement to enhance public safety.”

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