Gay Man Becomes Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection, Faces Big Challenges

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02/07/2022

Sworn-in to lead one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the United States, Chris Magnus also joined a small group of gay national security officials. At a formal ceremony on Feb. 4 in Washington, D.C. with his husband looking on, Magnus took the oath of office to serve as the commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
“This is the honor of a lifetime,” said Magnus, a career cop who takes over a troubled agency nestled front and center of the ongoing immigration debate. “I consider it a special privilege to lead an agency with such a dedicated workforce that has such a critical mission.” Magnus, 61, becomes the fifth commissioner in the history of Customs and Border Protection, a full-service global border entity created in 2003. He was nominated in April 2021 by President Joe Biden and confirmed by the Senate in December. The confirmation places Magnus in exclusive company. “His confirmation is significant in two ways,” said Lucas F. Schleusener, co-founder and president of Out in National Security, a hub that empowers and connects LGBTQIA+ national security professionals. “First, alongside other LGBTQIA+ officials in this administration, is that they are all highly qualified professionals whose sexual orientation and gender identity were not and could not be used to bar them from confirmation. Second, by serving at DHS, Commissioner Magnus is blazing a trail that will make it easier for others to follow in his footsteps.”

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