For the first time in U.S. history, an immigrant Latino will hold the position of Secretary of Homeland Security. This is Cuban-American Alejandro Mayorkas who was appointed by new President Joe Biden to hold a key cabinet position. In a clear show of renewal and to differentiate himself from outgoing President Donald Trump, Biden elected Mayorkas, a Havana-born 60-year-old lawyer who will be in charge of immigration issues from one of the world’s most important countries.
During Barack Obama’s presidency, the official led the Citizenship and Immigration Services and was then deputy Secretary of Homeland Security. “We don’t have time to waste when it comes to our national security and our foreign policy,” Biden’s transition team reported in a community issued on November 3. Although Mayorkas’ nomination will have to be approved by the U.S. Senate, which is currently republican majority it is believed that there will be no further complications in his appointment as the Cuban has already been approved in the past by the upper house for other positions.
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. — Alejandro Mayorkas (@AliMayorkas)
November 23, 2020
In fact, the news was confirmed by himself from his recent Twitter account: “When I was very young, the United States gave me a shelter. Now, I was nominated to be the Secretary of Homeland Security and protect all Americans and those who escape persecution in search of a better life for themselves and their loved ones,” he said. During Obama’s tenure, Mayorkas’ role was instrumental in achieving rapprochement between the United States and Cuba. Thanks to their negotiation and subsequent agreement between the countries, flights between the two territories were normalized and diplomatic relations significantly improved. The deal, harshly criticized by Republicans, was then partially dismantled by Trump during his tenure in 2017.
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