HIAS Congratulates Board Member Alejandro Mayorkas on DHS Nomination

HIAS congratulates Board Member Alejandro Mayorkas on being named by President-Elect Joe Biden to be the new secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. If confirmed, Mayorkas would be the first Latino to head the department that implements and manages U.S. immigration policies.

A Cuban-born immigrant who arrived in the United States with his parents as a refugee, Mayorkas served as deputy secretary of Homeland Security from 2013 to 2016 and was director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services during President Obama’s first term. Mayorkas was also a primary architect of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

“We at HIAS have been so blessed to have Ali Mayorkas on our board of directors, and are thrilled to have him nominated to be the next Secretary of Homeland Security,” said HIAS President and CEO Mark Hetfield. “Ali has consistently demonstrated that he is not only a strong and highly respected leader, but an empathetic one who knows the heart of the stranger, as the child of a Holocaust survivor, as a Latino, and as a refugee and immigrant himself. Ali is uniquely suited to rebuild public trust in the Department of Homeland Security as he knows that America is at its greatest when we build bridges, not walls.”

“When I was very young, the United States provided my family and me a place of refuge,” Mayorkas tweeted just after being named. “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.”


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