Literally Asleep at the Wheel: Internal Critics Expose Behavior of Biden’s Top Border Chief

The immigration crisis that continues to unfold at the southern U.S. border has worsened significantly under President Joe Biden. Not only does the Biden administration seem completely uninterested in fixing what’s wrong at the border, but some of the personnel assigned to manage the situation don’t seem all that interested in doing so, either.

According to Politico, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus is under fire for his less-than-stellar job performance. The complaints, the outlet noted, are coming from Magnus’ top people, some of whom claim Magnus falls asleep during high-level meetings.

Reportedly, at least five people who work directly with the CBP chief have stated that Magnus seems “disengaged.” He also reportedly has a tendency to skip White House meetings related to the border crisis and has allegedly spoken ill of other government agencies to both his colleagues and bosses.

Politico’s Daniel Lippman broke the news Monday.

Employees have complained that Magnus spends too much time focused on grievances brought against other government agencies, and not enough time focusing on his role at CBP.

“He’s not in the game,” one unnamed official reportedly told Politico. “Every time there’s a meeting and he’s in it, we’ll get to a conclusion, and Magnus will have some sidebar issue that he wants to raise, and we’re all like ‘What the f*** is that about?'”


While Magnus has experience as a police chief in Arizona and California, his critics say he’s simply not up for the task and lacks the knowledge and experience required for someone in his position, especially when the illegal immigration issue remains white-hot, politically.

“Operationally he’s not even in the conversation,” an administration official added, per Politico. “He knows the border, but the ins-and-outs and the size and capabilities of CBP is pretty far outside his remit and understanding how to deal with other parts of the administration.”

Since the reports of his questionable job performance hit the news cycle, the CBP chief strongly defended his work on the job, saying that he’s spent the past 10 months learning the “complex” role of being at the head of the agency.

“I’ve always been someone who aggressively questions the status quo, looks for ways to do things better, and engages directly with the public and workforce,” Magnus said. “In any organization, some people are threatened by this. They don’t like it when someone questions ‘why’ certain things must be done the way they’ve always been done. I’m not here to back down to the predictable challenges from those people.”

As far as his bad habit of nodding off during important meetings, Magnus didn’t deny the reports but said that his critics must have overlooked his medical diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, which causes him to doze off randomly. He was diagnosed with the crippling disease 15 years ago but insisted that his medication is constantly being adjusted to offset the side effects of having MS.

The medical situation raises many of the same concerns that critics of Democratic Senate candidate and Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman have regarding his post-stroke state of health. Should someone in a high leadership role, like Fetterman or Magnus, be able to serve? There’s an argument to be made that leaders should be able to lead without being sidetracked by a significant illness which, in theory, could affect decision-making on critically important topics.

However, Magnus argued that illness aside, he’s usually criticized for being too involved in various meetings.

“Ironically, the most common complaint I’ve received from colleagues is about my tendency to ask too many questions in meetings and my desire to know what some believe is more than necessary on various topics,” he said. Magnus said he intends “to remain fully engaged in the work of leading CBP and advocating on behalf of those who work here, as well as for the American public.”

Clearly, Magnus needs to be replaced with a competent successor. The major problem is, unlike his predecessor, President Biden seems exceptionally hesitant to fire his underperforming officials, at least before the 2022 midterms, presumably because such a firing would be an admission that things aren’t going well.

In contrast, former President Donald Trump would fire as many people as it took to find the perfect person for a given role, and that’s how it should be.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.