The U.S. Senate voted today to confirm Alejandro Mayorkas, President Biden’s nominee to lead the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Secretary Mayorkas, who was born in Cuba and came to the U.S. as a refugee during his childhood, brings an immigrant perspective to the executive department that oversees immigration, customs, citizenship, border security, and more. He also has DHS experience: under President Obama, he served as Director of USCIS from 2009 to 2013, where he was responsible for implementing the DACA program. During President Obama’s second term, he served as Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security and led epidemic response efforts, cybersecurity advancements, and negotiations with Cuba.
During the previous administration, DHS was led by six individuals over four years—most of whom were acting officials. Several federal courts have ruled that at least two acting DHS secretaries were not lawfully appointed, raising questions about the validity of their actions. T&S welcomes the experience, wisdom, and humanitarian focus that Secretary Mayorkas brings to DHS.