Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas confirmed today as a member of President Biden’s cabinet to head the Department of Homeland Security.
Today, the U.S. Senate confirmed Alejandro Mayorkas as Secretary of Homeland Security. Secretary Mayorkas is the first Latino to lead the Department. The Secretary, who was born in Havana, Cuba in 1959, became a refugee in the United States when he, along with his parents and sister, left their island nation in 1960. Secretary Mayorkas will lead the Administration’s critical efforts in reuniting over 600 children with their parents. The previous Administration had a policy to separate refugee children from their parents and the Secretary’s mission will be to put these families back together. Secretary Mayorkas will also lead the president’s efforts to provide comprehensive immigration reform. His early efforts will include implementing the Executive Orders signed by President Biden and described on this page.
Executive Orders signed on February 2, 2021
White House Executive Order: Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems
President Biden signed an Executive Order today that will clear the backlog of many applications for visas, both immigrant and non-immigrant. The president’s actions seek to increase access to the legal immigration system and provide meaningful immigration reform. The Order will also improve the process of citizenship and naturalization by removing cumbersome obstacles.
White House Executive Order: Addressing the Causes of Migration; Orderly Processing of Asylum Seekers
President Biden stated in this order that “[s]ecuring our borders does not require us to ignore the humanity of those who seek to cross them. The president aims to address the “violence, instability, and lack of opportunity that compel so many people to flee their homes.” The Biden Administration will enact policy to manage migration “throughout North and Central America that reflects the Nation’s highest values.”
White House Executive Order: Establishment of Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families
President Biden signed an Executive Order today to begin the process of reuniting children with their parents who were inhumanely separated by the previous Administration. The president stated that “[i]t is the policy of my Administration to respect and value the integrity of families seeking to enter the United States. My Administration condemns the human tragedy that occurred when our immigration laws were used to intentionally separate children from their parents or legal guardians (families), including through the use of the Zero-Tolerance Policy.”