Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas asked US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus to resign this week, two sources familiar with the discussions tell CNN.
Magnus has been criticized internally for being out of touch with the agency and publicly for the handling of the US-Mexico border. During his tenure, officials have told CNN they believed Magnus seemed disengaged and wasn’t joining some internal meetings at a critical time for the agency.
In a statement to the Los Angeles Times, Magnus said he planned to stay in the agency.
“I am excited about the progress I made and look forward continuing that work,” he said.
Though Magnus remains at the agency, Homeland Security Deputy Secretary John Tien and CBP Deputy Commissioner Troy Miller are carrying out his day-to-day duties, according to one person familiar with the matter. Direct reports to Magnus are also now reporting to Tien.
CNN has reached out to the Department of Homeland Security and the White House for comment.
President Joe Biden tapped Magnus, who served as police chief in Tucson, Arizona, to helm CBP – the largest federal law enforcement agency and the second-largest revenue-collecting source in the federal government.
Late last year, the Senate confirmed Magnus after months of confirmation setbacks that left the agency with a void at the top amid a record number of border arrests.
Magnus came in at a time when Customs and Border Protection, which is under the Department of Homeland Security, faced an influx of migrants crossing the US-Mexico border and grappled with travel restrictions stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.
US Border Patrol, a division of Customs and Border Protection, made over 2.2 million arrests in fiscal year 2022 for unlawful crossings on the US-Mexico border, the highest annual number of apprehensions on record.
This story has been updated with additional developments.