December 07, 2021

Wyden Delivers Floor Speech on the Nomination of Chris Magnus to lead U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Encourages colleagues to support the nomination of Chris Magnus

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) delivered the following remarks on the floor of the U.S. Senate in support of the nomination of Chris Magnus to lead U.S. Customs and Border Protection

“Mr. President, the Senate will soon vote on the nomination of Chief Chris Magnus to lead U.S. Customs and Border Protection. I want to take just a few minutes to outline why every member of the Senate ought to support this nomination. 

First off, there’s simply no doubt that Chris Magnus has the right qualifications for this role. He is a highly experienced law enforcement leader. He started out in Lansing, Michigan, and he has headed up law enforcement agencies all over the country -- East, West, north and south. Currently he’s serving as the Chief of Police in Tucson, Arizona. That means he’ll start on day one with firsthand knowledge about the challenges of law enforcement on our southern border. Even beyond that specific element of CBP’s work, his range of experience in law enforcement all over the country makes him an ideal pick to lead an agency with tens of thousands of employees staffing more than 300 points of entry to the U.S. 

During his hearing, Chief Magnus made clear that he wants to approach immigration challenges in a way that brings the two sides together. He also understands that strongly enforcing our immigration laws and treating immigrants and asylum seekers humanely are not mutually exclusive. That’s a perspective on immigration that will help our communities, help public safety, and help our economy all at the same time. 

Second, those of us on the Finance Committee are also aware that CBP doesn’t just do immigration. It’s also on the front lines of enforcing our trade laws, and too often in the past, that part of its mission has gotten short shrift. 

Today, CBP is at the heart of the effort to fight against immoral and unfair trade practices, including the use of forced labor in China and elsewhere. CBP not only investigates allegations of forced labor and demands remediation where appropriate, it also enforces the ban on forced labor products entering the country. Staying a step ahead of trade cheats -- whether they’re involved in forced labor or not -- is key to protecting American jobs, businesses and innovation. Workers and businesses also depend on healthy, functioning supply chains. As we’ve seen since the beginning of the pandemic, when supply chains break down, it causes enormous headaches throughout our economy, from the biggest businesses right down to individual families shopping for everyday goods. 

During his nomination hearing, Chief Magnus assured the committee that CBP’s trade mission will get the focus and resources it needs if he’s confirmed. He’s committed to ensuring there’s adequate staffing at our ports, and he’s interested in improving the efficiency of our customs operations in a way that maintains key protections for consumer safety.

Bottom line, Chief Magnus is an excellent nominee, and it’s clear he’s got the right priorities when it comes to the CBP challenges that a lot of Senators care most about— securing the border and helping to get supply chains back to normal. He’s committed to working with all members on immigration and trade-related issues going forward in a way that brings Democrats and Republicans together.

I’m very happy to support him today, and I urge all Senators to vote in favor of his confirmation."

Video of Wyden’s floor remarks are available here.