President-elect Joe Biden has named Alejandro Mayorkas, whom some have described as the personification of the American Dream, as his Homeland Security Secretary, making him the top-ranking immigrant in the U.S.
Mayorkas’ family originated in Turkey, Poland, and Romania. He was born in Havana, Cuba. His mother carried him to Miami, FL, aged six months. He grew up in Los Angeles, attended U.C. Berkeley, and graduated from Loyola Law School.
He became the youngest U.S. attorney and has two other major achievements to his credit. He was the architect of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and was also the lead negotiator in talks that helped thaw U.S.-Cuban relations under the Obama Administration.
Mayorkas has a significant background in immigration, serving as the Director of USCIS under Obama and became Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security.
The task facing Mayorkas is a daunting one, steering the Federal government’s third largest agency, with 240,000 employees, away from being used as a political tool to achieve Trump’s central campaign promise to restrict immigration in the opposite direction.
Biden has promised to reverse many of Trump’s immigration policies. In his first term Trump issued more than four hundred executive actions on immigration and created a quagmire in the agency, which could frustrate the incoming Biden Administration’s ambitions, including the ever-elusive comprehensive immigration reform.
Trump’s officials were recently handed another defeat in their long-running campaign to end the DACA program, which Biden has promised to restore in full as one of the first moves in office.
Mayorkas is likely to face a tough confirmation process if the Republicans maintain a majority in the Senate, as will Biden’s other nominees in roughly one thousand other positions, but Sen. Robert Menendez (NJ) says that Mayorkas has the subject matter expertise to take on the enormous job of cleaning up after the disastrous and inhumane immigration policies that have torn apart lives and families under the Trump Administration.
Watch the video for full details.