President Biden announced April 12 his intent to nominate Chris Magnus, who has served as police chief of Tucson, Ariz., since January 2016, as commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
According to a White House press release, Magnus rose through the ranks of the Lansing, Mich., police department and has also served as police chief in the cities of Fargo, N.D., and Richmond, Calif. “In each of these cities,” the press release said, “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.” The White House also cited Magnus’ “extensive experience in addressing immigration issues” during his time in Tucson near the U.S.-Mexico border.
A number of former CBP commissioners have been drawn from law enforcement, meaning the head of CBP’s Office of Trade often has a key role in helping devise and implement trade policy. That role is currently being filled by John Leonard, the agency’s executive director of trade policy and programs, after the recent retirement of Brenda Smith after 34 years in federal government and seven as executive assistant commissioner. According to a Reuters article, Smith said in a recent interview that CBP needs more resources to enforce rules and regulations on tariffs, forced labor, e-commerce, and other issues. Smith also praised the agency’s efforts to magnify its enforcement resources through artificial intelligence, automation, and other technological advancements.
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