WASHINGTON (AP) – 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 rising number of people attempting to enter the country 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.
Jaddou most recently was director of DHS Watch, which was broadly critical of the Trump administration’s efforts to curtail both legal and illegal immigration.
CBP’s responsibilities including 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 number of migrants apprehended by the Border Patrol along the Southwest border has been rising for months. The Biden administration has continued to turn back adults under a public health order issued under Trump at the start of the pandemic.
But 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.