Alejandro Mayorkas Confirmed to Lead Department of Homeland Security

February 10, 2021

By Immigration Group

This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Laura Danielson is an active member.

The U.S. Senate confirmed Alejandro Mayorkas as Secretary of Homeland Security on February 2, 2021, making Mayorkas the first immigrant and first Latino to serve in that role.

Mayorkas comes from a 30-year career as a law enforcement official and a nationally recognized lawyer in the private sector. He served as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from 2013 to 2016, and as Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services from 2009 to 2013. During his tenure at DHS, he led the development and implementation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, negotiated cybersecurity and homeland security agreements with foreign governments, led the agency’s response to Ebola and Zika, helped build and administer the Blue Campaign to combat human trafficking, and developed an emergency relief program for orphaned youth following the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. He also created the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate.

Mayorkas began his government service in the Department of Justice, where he served as Assistant United States Attorney in the Central District of California, specializing in the prosecution of white-collar crime. After nearly nine years as a federal prosecutor, he became a U.S. Attorney.

Mayorkas received a bachelor’s degree with distinction from the University of California at Berkeley and a law degree from Loyola Law School.

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