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Jeh Johnson to Be Tapped for DHS Secretary

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 17, 2013

CONTACT
Adela de la Torre, 213-400-7822, delatorre@nilc.org

Jeh Johnson to Be Nominated to Lead Dept. of Homeland Security

National Immigration Law Center Urges Senate to Confirm Johnson Without Delay

WASHINGTON — President Obama will nominate Jeh Johnson, a partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP, to succeed Janet Napolitano as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Johnson has previously served in the public interest sector as general counsel of the Department of Defense and as general counsel of the Department of the Air Force. Johnson was the first African American partner of Paul, Weiss and also is the first African American nominee for this cabinet-level position.

“Jeh Johnson’s professional experience makes it clear that he will be a strong manager of what is undoubtedly one of the most complex cabinets within the executive branch. His experience with leading efforts for the repeal of the military’s discriminatory “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy against LGBT soldiers will serve him well in the immigration context, where both Senator Reid and President Obama have reiterated their commitment to reforming our broken immigration system.”

“Johnson need not wait until Congress has enacted immigration reform legislation to make real improvements to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS’s) treatment of immigrants, however. As the administration comes ever closer to reaching the dubious milestone of having deported two million immigrants, Johnson has a leadership opportunity to fully implement the directives that have already been issued to stop deporting the citizens of tomorrow and provide much-needed relief to immigrant families and our communities.

“Mr. Johnson’s credentials, while impressive, make it essential that he have a deputy secretary who understands our complex immigration system. Fortunately, the Obama administration has nominated such an individual to this position. Alejandro Mayorkas, the current head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, is eminently qualified to ensure that all facets of DHS’s mandate are understood by those charged with leading the organization. The Senate should confirm both these nominees, who would fill critical leadership gaps at DHS, immediately.”

“If confirmed, Mr. Johnson will have an opportunity to bring our most cherished values for due process, fair consideration, and family unity to DHS’s culture. We look forward to working with the future DHS secretary and his staff to restore transparency, accountability, and trust between immigrant communities and this department.”

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