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Sources: Head of CBP being forced out of job



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The situation at the United States border is abysmal, and Chris Magnus, who has been commissioner less than a year, is being forced out. Despite the lack of support from the Biden Administration and the Democratic leadership, sights are pointed on punishing Magnus.

Magnus “was told to resign or be fired, according to two people who briefed on the matter but not authorized to speak publicly and did so on condition of anonymity” reported the Associated Press.

“Migrants were stopped 2.38 million times in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, up 37% from the year before. The annual total surpassed 2 million for the first time in August and is more than twice the highest level during Donald Trump’s presidency, in 2019” adds the Associated Press.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Biden’s Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas evaded responsibility, and instead, gave an ultimatum to Magnus to step down or be fired.

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, confirmed the rumors that Magnus is being pushed out.

“There have always been periods of migrant surges into this country for different reasons, at different times,” Magnus told The Associated Press last year. “But I don’t think anybody disputes that the numbers are high right now and that we have to work as many different strategies as possible to deal with those high numbers.”

Some say that although the Biden Administration has a lot of responsibility in the border mayhem, releasing Magnus is the right call. In July, Magnus released an investigation that said Border Patrol agents on horseback engaged in “unnecessary use of force” against Haitians at a massive camp in Del Rio, Texas in September 2021 but didn’t whip any with their reins.

Judd said getting rid of Magnus will be helpful; “I think it’s a good thing,” Judd said. “He was just working on policies that were just going to incentivize more criminal activity. The vehicle-pursuit policy, had he implemented that, all it would have done is increase criminal activity.”

The AP writes “Magnus was subject of an unflattering profile in Politico that cited unnamed administration officials saying he missed White House meetings, failed to build relationships within and outside his agency and was unengaged, even falling asleep in meetings. Magnus insisted he was deeply involved in immigration-related discussions.”

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Middle East

U.S. House Votes to Permanently Freeze $6 Billion Iranian Funds Amid Hostage Exchange Controversy



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The U.S. House of Representatives has approved legislation to permanently freeze $6 billion in Iranian funds that were initially slated for release by the Biden administration as part of a hostage exchange with Tehran earlier this year. The measure passed in a 307-119 vote, with the majority of Republicans supporting it, according to The Hill. Notably, Kentucky GOP Rep. Thomas Massie was the sole Republican dissenting voice, aligning with 118 Democrats.

The frozen funds, originally held in South Korea, were part of a deal where Seoul committed to paying Iran for oil before the U.S. imposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic in 2019. Subsequently, these funds were transferred to Qatar as part of the exchange. However, in the aftermath of an Oct. 7 Hamas raid on Israel, where more than 200 hostages were seized and around 1,200 civilians were killed, both Qatar and the U.S. agreed to refreeze the funds.

The decision to permanently freeze the funds reflects the growing controversy surrounding the hostage exchange and the broader implications of releasing substantial financial resources to Iran. Tehran’s support for Hamas and its proxies’ heightened hostilities in the Middle East have contributed to the contentious nature of this issue.

As the legislation progresses, it further underscores the complex dynamics in the region and the United States’ response to Iran’s involvement in activities that destabilize the Middle East. The vote outcome signals a bipartisan stance on this matter, with implications for U.S.-Iran relations and the ongoing challenges of navigating geopolitical complexities.

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