Alejandro Mayuras could bring stability to the Department of Homeland Security after years of interim leadership

The announcement was promptly met with praise from immigration advocates and democratic lawmakers, as well as former and current officials who have expressed concern about the ministry’s politicization from some of its top leaders.

Over the past four years, the acting leadership at the Department of Homeland Security has disrupted some of President Donald Trump’s actions, including a second attempt to curtail the deferred action program for childhood arrivals. It also contributed to the unpredictability within the department.

In response to the news, Mayuras alluded to the challenges facing the Department of Homeland Security and cited his immigrant background.

“When I was very young, the United States provided my family and my family with a place of asylum. Now, I am nominated for the position of Secretary of Homeland Security and overseeing the protection of all Americans and those fleeing persecution in search of a better life for themselves and their loved ones,” Mayorcas tweeted.

If confirmed, Mayuras will be the first Latino immigrant to serve at the head of the ministry, which has been bombed and drawn into politics under Trump.

Mayorkas has been the popular pick for weeks – a welcome choice among some current and former officials who have emphasized the need for an experienced commander in the Department of Homeland Security. To that end, Mayorkas have a lot.

Under Obama, Mayuras served as Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security and Director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, an immigration agency within the department, where he was an integral part of implementing DACA. The program, which the Trump administration has tried to end, protects against the deportation of illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children.

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Mayorkas likely played a major role in rolling back the Trump administration’s immigration policies, given that many of these changes came from the Department of Homeland Security. He is closely aware of the agency – USCIS – at the heart of some of the most restrictive policies, including those that make obtaining asylum so difficult.

Since Trump took office, the Department of Homeland Security has had five secretaries, only two of whom have been confirmed by the Senate, and have faced a host of questions about the legality and authority of those in the acting positions. The last Senate certified secretary was Kerstin Nielsen. Departed in April 2019.

In August, Trump nominated Chad Wolf to the position of Homeland Security Secretary, months after Woolf had served in the position. Wolf has yet to be confirmed despite renewed efforts to bring the nomination to the Senate Chamber before Inauguration Day.

“A continuous revolving door is not good for the long-term stability and effectiveness of what is still a new administration,” a former Department of Homeland Security official who worked with Mayoras during the Obama administration. For CNN. “He would be able to go off fast and be able to be effective really early on. I can’t think of anyone better suited to take over the division at a really difficult time.”

Mayuras, who was born in Havana, Cuba and was the highest-ranking American serving in the Obama administration, played a role in the administration’s efforts to normalize relations with Cuba.

“As a Cuban American, it is a great honor to continue President Obama’s policy and to build stronger relations with the Cuban people,” He said After visiting Cuba as Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security in 2015. “I believe that dealing with Cuba is in our interest, and it will improve the lives of the Cuban people.”

Former Mayoras director, former Homeland Security Secretary J Johnson, was quick to praise the announcement Monday.

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“There is a way to enforce our immigration laws in a reasonable and compassionate manner, while pursuing immigration reform here in this country,” Johnson said during a virtual panel discussion of the Center for New American Security. “Ali knows how to do that. I am sure he will do this in a very competent way.”

John Sandwig, the Acting Director of Immigration and Customs, who has also worked with Malloras, called it a “great choice”.

“He has strong law enforcement credentials, and he will start working on the ground and prioritize good policy over good policy. The national security team that President-elect Biden has announced so far, including Ali at the Department of Homeland Security, is full of competence, integrity and actual experience,” he He said.

Michael Knowles, 1924 president of the American Federation of Local Government Employees, which represents USCIS employees in the National Capital Region, said Mayuras was a “workforce champion” while at USCIS. “Based on our experience with him, we can expect him to manage a sound balance between the important task of securing borders and enforcing our laws, while ensuring a fair and efficient legal immigration process,” said Knowles.

Mayoras will also provide expertise in controlling epidemics. Participated in the DHS planning for infectious diseases for Ebola and Zika, which included ensuring proper screening at airports during the Ebola outbreak, A former Department of Homeland Security official said.

“The Department of Homeland Security has an enormous amount of interaction with travelers, and that will be essential in responding to the ongoing pandemic,” the former official said.

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Questions about visa applications in a whistleblower complaint

Mayorkas has previously been confirmed three times by the Senate. However, he could face questions about his time as director of the federal government’s Citizenship and Immigration Services office responsible for legal immigration.

While in the position, professional staff of the agency alleged that Mayoras was “exercising an inappropriate influence” in the processing and adjudication of visa applications, according to the 2015 Department of Homeland Security. Report of the Office of the Inspector General, Which arose from whistleblower complaints.

Employees claim that Mayorkas wielded leverage to grant individuals preference as part of the visa program, which gives residency preference to immigrants who agree to invest in the US economy and create jobs.

The government watchdog found that in three cases, Mayoras “proceeded outside the normal litigation procedures” and was involved in the decision-making process.

Although the inspector general was unable to determine the motive behind Mayorkas’ actions, it caused “great dissatisfaction” in the agency. At the time, Mayuras said allegations that he offered preferential treatment and created an inappropriate appearance were “totally unfounded”.

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