Loyola Law School alumnus Alejandro Mayorkas ('85) named next secretary of Homeland Security

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Via: Loyola Law School on Instagram

Loyola Law School alumnus Alejandro Mayorkas ('85) named next secretary of Homeland Security

By Christina Martinez

President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Loyola Law School (LLS) alumnus Alejandro Mayorkas (‘85) to be his secretary of Homeland Security. If confirmed, Mayorkas will be the first Latino and first immigrant to hold the position.

On Tuesday, the Biden transition team held a virtual conference where President-elect Biden introduced Mayorkas as his pick for secretary of Homeland Security and other leadership roles of his national security and foreign policy team. Other selections were for roles such as Secretary of State, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and director of National Intelligence.

Mayorkas delivered brief remarks at Biden’s conference in acceptance of the nomination. After serving previously as deputy secretary of Homeland Security under President Barack Obama, he said he would be “honored to return to the department.”

According to LLS, Mayorkas received his Juris Doctor in 1985. Following his graduation, he was employed by the school as an adjunct professor of Trial Advocacy and was honored as its Distinguished Alumnus of the Year in 2001.

The secretary of Homeland Security’s role is to head the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which was created after the September 2001 attacks to protect the United States and its citizens from all threats and attacks. Biden referred to the position as “one of the hardest jobs in government.”

“The DHS secretary needs to keep us safe from threats at home and from abroad, and it’s the job that plays a critical role in fixing our broken immigration system,” said Biden. “After years of chaos, dysfunction, and absolute cruelty [by] DHS, I’m proud to nominate an experienced leader who has been hailed by both Democrats and Republicans.”

If confirmed, Mayorkas will be tasked with leading a department embroiled in controversy. Under the Trump administration, DHS has been widely criticized for overseeing the detainment of asylum-seeking migrants at the US-Mexico border and the arrests of several Black Lives Matter protestors in Portland, OR.

“It is no small task to lead the [DHS], but I will work to restore faith in our institutions, and protect our security here at home,” Mayorkas wrote on Twitter about his selection.

In his remarks during Biden’s conference, Mayorkas promised to work diligently to lead the employees of DHS and spoke of his and his parents’ experience as Cuban immigrants to the United States.

“My father and mother brought me to this country to escape communism,” said Mayorkas. “They cherished our democracy and were intensely proud to become United States citizens, as was I. I have carried that pride throughout my life.”

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