On Tuesday Feb. 2, the Senate confirmed Alejandro Mayorkas as President Joe Biden’s homeland security secretary. Mayorkas is now the first Latino to fill a post that will have a central role in the government’s response to COVID-19.
“I think it is very inspiring to see a diverse cabinet in the new administration. I hope the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is able to form a sensible and clear immigration policy that is both humane and sensible,” said member of Club Republicans Gian Capolino.
“I commend Biden for his diversification and careful selection of each individual. This is an amazing milestone in history, and it is clear that the Biden Harris administration will be full of glass ceiling-shattering milestones like this one,” said President of Club Democrats Kolby Driscoll.
According to the Associated Press, “[Mayorkas’] nomination was stalled in the Senate by Republicans who wanted to question him further on Biden’s plans for immigration policy. He also faced questions over his management of an investor visa program under President Barack Obama.”
Under the Obama administration, Mayorkas was the director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services and was integral in implementing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
“In a very simple and summarized definition, DACA provides people that came to the United States as children a 2-year grace period when it comes to deportation,” said Driscoll.
“DACA is a very sensitive issue but I believe the administration will find a way to make sure the Dreamers are taken care of in a fair way that represents their right,” said Capolino.
“My hopes for this new administration are that DACA is reevaluated to ensure that the program is operating at top tier standards and is doing what it’s meant to be doing. With Mayorkas, one of the original hands of DACA, I hope that he will see to it that his vision and hopes for DACA are carried out in an ethical and just way,” said Driscoll.
Under the Trump Administration, Republicans have pushed to make an end to DACA.
“I am very curious to see what will happen to President Trump’s border wall in the future,” said Capolino.
According to the Associated Press, “The DHS has terminated an unusual agreement that Arizona’s top prosecutor signed with the agency in the waning days of the Trump administration to restrict President Joe Biden’s ability to overhaul his predecessor’s immigrant policies.”
Mayorkas was sued by Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich for carrying out Biden’s 100-day moratorium on deportations.
“I believe that the entire concept and action of immigration and deportation needs to be reevaluated entirely. The America we live in today was built from immigration, and each and every one of our ancestors came into this country as an immigrant at one point or another,” said Driscoll.
“I believe that the administration will create a pathway to citizenship for the 12 million-plus undocumented immigrants in the country currently,” said Capolino.
According to the Associated Press, “Mayorkas was confirmed by a 56-43 vote, the narrowest margin yet for a Biden cabinet nominee. The first immigrant to serve in the job, he will lead a broad policy overhaul of an agency that was accused of being deeply politicized as it carried out President Donald Trump’s initiative on immigration and law enforcement.”
“I’m sure that Mr. Mayorkas will do a great job,” said Capolino.
“I have high hopes for Mayorkas. I am excited to see how he performs his position, and I trust the judgment of President Biden and his selection,” said Driscoll.