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SPLC Action: Historic Nomination of Alejandro Mayorkas for DHS Secretary Paves Way for Agency to Support a Reimagined, Humane Immigration System

WASHINGTON – President-elect Joe Biden today announced that he will nominate Alejandro Mayorkas, who served as director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the Obama Administration, as the DHS Secretary. 

The following statement is from Kelli Garcia, Policy Counsel with SPLC Action Fund: 

“We congratulate Alejandro Mayorkas on his historic nomination to become DHS Secretary. Mayorkas, whose own family found refuge in the United States, will be the first immigrant and Latino to lead DHS. In a welcome change to the agency’s current leadership, Mayorkas is a knowledgeable and dedicated public servant with a history of respecting due process and the human rights of immigrants and asylum seekers.  

“Mayorkas has a long career working in the area of immigration law and policy. During his service with the Obama Administration, he helped implement Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), defended the refugee resettlement program and implemented temporary protected status (TPS) for Haitian immigrants after the 2010 earthquake. As head of DHS, Mayorkas will have an opportunity to not only dismantle Trump’s cruel, anti-immigrant agenda that has disproportionately targeted Black, Brown, and Indigenous immigrants, but also to reimagine immigration policy in our country.  

“If confirmed, Mayorkas, along with President-elect Biden and the next Congress, will be charged with rebuilding DHS and untangling Trump’s mountain of nativist policy. The damage of the past four years will require Mayorkas and the new administration to take concerted steps to reverse DHS’s enforcement-minded approach to immigration policy.  

“We look forward to working with President-elect Biden and Alejandro Mayorkas to create a just, orderly and functioning immigration system that is grounded in human dignity and human rights, respect for due process, and safety and opportunity for all immigrants.”