Biden’s pick to run the Department of Homeland Security is not only one of the former top officials of the Obama-era, but is Cuban to boot, making him the first immigrant to serve in this position.
Alejandro Mayorkas immigrated to the US from Havana, Cuba. He got citizenship 13 years after he was brought to the US in 1960. His parents left Cuba during the 60’s after his father refused to raise his children in a Communist country. Being one of the top officials during Obama’s reign, he was appointed as the director of the USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services). He also served as the deputy secretary for DHS. He was the one to lead USCIS when an act was introduced by the agency in 2012 that was established to protect those immigrants from deportation who were brought into the country in their youth. He also made his way back to Cuba in 2016 to establish better relations and understanding between the two countries.
Mayorkas had been serving at a firm as the senior partner. He tweeted about his elation regarding the appointment, saying that he would want the US to provide a safe haven for all Americans, as well as those who immigrate to America in search of a better life.
Under the Trump administration, the roles of the DHS had been reformulated, with Trump placing multiple restrictions on immigration policies, including banning people from prominent Muslim countries in order to ensure that they can’t immigrate to the US. The officials of the DHS were told to execute these policy changes without delay, and often without proper training.
Biden declared that he needed a team that was willing to restore America’s position and lead them to the top again while joining forces with the rest of the world to face their challenges head-on. He insisted that they needed to establish a national security policy without any delay. He also promised to bring back the immigration policies of the Obama era. Many of the DHS officials who had been associated with the agency during Obama’s reign applauded the choice, as well as some prominent politicians, saying that Mayorkas was an excellent choice to lead the DHS and that he would bring about much-needed changes in an agency that was dilapidated by the former president’s actions.