Biden Nominates First Latino Immigrant to Head Department of Homeland Security

Posted on 11/30/20

The Trump administration has taken decisive actions to undermine our legal immigration system over the past four years. From refugee admissions being cut by nearly 75%, wealth tests for green card applicants, asylum seekers being forced to return back to Mexico, and numerous court battles, President-elect Biden will have his hands full. Complicated regulations and legal challenges will try to undermine the Biden administration’s immigration actions. Thus, the role of the Director Department of Homeland Security will be essential in the fight for immigration reform. Early this week, the Biden transition team announced numerous cabinet nominees, contributing to the President-elect’s promise to offer diverse cabinet nominees to head the country’s bureaucratic functionalities. Notably, the President-elect nominated the first Latino to head the Department of Homeland Security, a critical role in the battle to overhaul immigration in the United States. Alejandro Mayorkas, a former Obama administration official may take the helm in the efforts to undo the past four years of the Trump immigration policies.

The Department of Homeland Security has multiple functions ranging from border enforcement, cybersecurity, transportation security, and immigration. As one of the largest bureaucratic agencies, the secretary’s role is pinnacle in the President’s cabinet. Mr. Mayorkas would be the first political refugee to lead the agency. His nomination as the first Cuban Immigrant to lead the agency would demonstrate the contributions of immigrants to the American political system and broadcasting to the world that the American Dream is alive and well. Fidel Castro’s tyrannical and draconian rule over Cubans in the 1960s uplifted Mayorkas and his family to the United States. As communist revolutionaries continued to take hold of Cuba, the Mayorkas were forced to create a new life in a land unknown to them. Surely, the progress he has made from a poor Cuban immigrant to potentially the next DHS head will be in stark contrast to the President’s anti-immigration rhetoric. The President’s failure to acknowledge the fact that America was built by immigrants will be one of the many reasons his policies come to a fast-approaching end.

Mayorkas published a formal statement via Twitter, eagerly anticipating heading DHS. “When I was very young, the United States provided my family and me a place of refuge. Now, I have been nominated to be the DHS Secretary and oversee the protection of all Americans and those who flee persecution in search of a better life for themselves and their loved ones.” Mr. Mayorkas will be an inspirational figure for millions of immigrants across the nation and the world of what could await them if hard work and determination are at the forefront of their ambitions.

Mayorkas nomination signals to millions of Americans that the Biden Administration will prioritize immigration changes and implement progressive immigration policies. As the former Obama Administration Director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency, Mayorkas has already demonstrated his abilities in advocating for the rights of immigrants. In President Obama’s second term, Mayorkas was appointed as deputy to the Department of Homeland Security, a first for a Cuban immigrant. Mayorkas has already been confirmed by the Senate on three separate occasions, making his appointment much more likely relative to Biden’s other nominees. His confirmation will face its fair share of criticism based on questionable decisions he made throughout his tenure under the Obama Administration. In 2015, the inspector general reported that Mayorkas prioritized visa applications for numerous high-level companies, something Republican senators will jump on to disqualify him from the position. With a Senate majority, Republicans will continue their grandstanding tactics that were so prevalent under the Obama administration. The theatrics that Republicans may grasp onto throughout the confirmation process may cause more harm to an already divided nation.

Unfortunately, the control of the Senate lies in the Georgia Runoff election where democrats face an uphill battle to pick up two seats. To have a divided Congress, with Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris presiding, democrats must overshadow their Republican challengers in the Georgia election. With millions of dollars being pumped into the Georgia senate races, the importance of these elections cannot be understated.

Immigrating to the United States? Partner with an award-winning legal team to secure the results you deserve, while prioritizing your goals. For nearly two decades, The Law Offices of James A. Welcome has encountered the varying immigration policies of each administration, but even as the process has been highly complicated by both parties, our office has thoroughly analyzed each immigration policy to ensure a positive outcome for our clients. Under a Biden Administration, immigrants will see big changes, and it’s important to get a jump start before they take effect. Call our office today to secure the representation you need and deserve. (203) 753-7300