September 29, 2021

Wyden Secures Review of DHS Law Enforcement Policies, Answers to Questions About Trump Administration Use of Force; Finance Committee Will Begin Consideration of Magnus Nomination for U.S. CBP Commissioner

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today announced the Finance Committee will begin advancing the nomination of Chris Magnus to be the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner, following a call today with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

“I have heard firsthand from Oregonians how Donald Trump’s dispatch of troops to Portland back in the summer of 2020 led to tear gas damaging their health and from school officials how tear gas canisters were left wantonly in a school sandbox where children play,” Wyden said. “Simply put, that adds up to an unacceptable response, and Secretary Mayorkas has told me that what went on in Portland is unacceptable.”

“He also told me the Department of Homeland Security would begin this week reviewing its law enforcement policies, including use of force and of chemical munitions – a review I’ve been calling for since Trump first deployed federal troops to Portland and other U.S. cities in the summer of 2020,” Wyden said. “And Secretary Mayorkas told me he agrees that the human toll of tear gas is serious and that the use of tear gas in or near schools is unacceptable.”

“I am gratified that CBP confirmed in written responses to my questions that it has not deployed any law enforcement personnel to Portland since January 2021 and that DHS is both committed to reviewing its training and engaging with communities of color to hear their concerns,” Wyden said.

Today marks the beginning of a long-needed process to examine Trump’s unilateral deployment of federal law enforcement in U.S. cities that left Oregonians with serious injuries, as well as federal troops’ indiscriminate use of tear gas against overwhelmingly peaceful protesters,” Wyden said. “I’ll continue watchdogging to ensure that DHS’ newly formed Law Enforcement Coordination Council results in real change and respect for everybody’s civil and constitutional rights. With Secretary Mayorkas’ responses and his commitment today to begin this review process as well as for DHS to release by the end of the week, a public version of the report on its Office of Intelligence and Analysis’ actions in Portland, the Senate Finance Committee will begin consideration of Chris Magnus to serve as CBP Commissioner.”

In addition to reviewing law enforcement policies, DHS agreed to release a host of documents Wyden requested about the department’s procedures, activities, and munitions in the summer of 2020, including this: