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Mayorkas Confirmed as DHS Deputy Secretary

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 20, 2013

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

Mayorkas Is the Right Person at the Right Time

NILC Applauds Senate Confirmation of Mayorkas as DHS Deputy Secretary


WASHINGTON — The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) applauds the Senate’s confirmation of Alejandro Mayorkas as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). His approval by the Senate, along with the confirmation earlier this week of DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, brings stability and strong management to a department that has lacked permanent leadership at its highest levels.

Mayorkas already has a solid record of accomplishment at DHS, having served the last four years as director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which service was praised in a letter NILC delivered to senators on behalf of 29 organizations. Mayorkas is a former U.S. attorney in California. He was born in Havana, Cuba, and immigrated to the U.S. when he was one year old. The following is a statement from NILC DC Director Don Lyster:

“Alejandro Mayorkas is the right person for the job at exactly the right time. Absent final congressional action this year on commonsense immigration reform, DHS must fill the legislative void by administering laws and regulations in a manner that ensures fairness and justice for aspiring citizens. That is a critical priority for NILC and other immigration advocates who are concerned about the countless families being separated each year because of extreme deportation practices.

“Mayorkas brings a solid managerial record to the second-highest post at DHS: Given only 60 days to implement the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Mayorkas pulled in all key stakeholders to ensure the program’s success. As a result, more than half a million young immigrants can live without the fear deportation and have the work authorization they need to contribute fully to their communities.

“During a time when critics of government are on the lookout for inefficiency and incompetence, Mayorkas made DACA a model of government efficiency and seamless execution. He showed his keen understanding of complicated immigration law and significantly engaged with academics, attorneys, advocates, and immigrant community members as the program was being established, publicly answering stakeholder questions and addressing key concerns.

“We’re also pleased to learn that USCIS will not be leaderless for long: Leon Rodriguez, who currently serves as director of the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has been nominated to become the next director of this important component of DHS. We look forward to continuing to work with Mayorkas in his new position, and we urge the Senate to approve Rodriguez’s nomination without delay.”

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