Biden picks 2 Trump critics for border, immigration roles

FILE - In this June 24, 2020 file photo, Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus speaks during a press conference in Tucson, Ariz. President Joe Biden is nominating Magnus to be commissioner of Customs and Border Protection. (Josh Galemore/Arizona Daily Star via AP)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Joe Biden on Monday nominated two critics of Trump-era immigration policies for key roles at the Department of Homeland Security.

The nominations come as the Biden administration faces a crisis along the Southwest border.

Biden named Tucson, Arizona, Police Chief Chris Magnus to be commissioner of Customs and Border Protection. Immigration policy expert Ur Mendoza Jaddou has been nominated to be director of Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Magnus publicly challenged the Trump administration’s efforts to punish cities that refused to cooperate with tougher immigration-enforcement policies, arguing that it damaged relations between law enforcement and migrant communities.

Magnus leads the 800-member police force in Tucson, which calls itself an “immigrant welcoming community” and has changed police policy to restrict the ability for officers to enforce immigration laws.

Magnus was previously the police chief in Richmond, California, and Fargo, North Dakota. Magnus, who is white and gay, held a Black Lives Matter sign during a protest in Richmond, photos of which went viral in 2014.

CBP’s responsibilities include patrolling the border while USCIS runs legal immigration services. Both positions require Senate confirmation and were run by acting leaders under former President Donald Trump, repeatedly drawing criticism from Congress.

The administration has been allowing unaccompanied children and some families to stay. Last month, the U.S. government picked up nearly 19,000 children traveling alone across the Mexican border in March, the largest monthly number ever recorded.