AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

AILA Welcomes Nomination of Alejandro Mayorkas to Lead DHS for the Biden Administration

11/23/20 AILA Doc. No. 20112342.

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) welcomes the news that President-Elect Biden will nominate Alejandro Mayorkas to lead the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). A key piece of the vision for a welcoming America, which AILA has shared with the incoming administration, is to immediately restore America’s stature as a welcoming nation. With this historic nomination of a Latino immigrant and expert in immigration law and policy to Secretary of DHS, the Biden administration has clearly conveyed that improving the immigration system for all is an important priority.

AILA President Jennifer Minear highlighted Mr. Mayorkas’s experience at DHS where he was Deputy Secretary during the Obama administration, saying “The mission of DHS is a massive and immensely important one, to native-born and immigrant Americans alike. The Department’s immigration-related actions and policies have an enormous impact not just on immigrants but also on the American families and businesses to which they are connected and whose success is so bound up with their own. In selecting Mr. Mayorkas for this critical cabinet post, President-Elect Biden has chosen someone with the skills, knowledge, and immigration-specific experience to understand these realities, and who can immediately bring them to bear in assessing the damage of the prior administration and taking swift corrective action.”

AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson added, “This nomination is not only smart, it is historic. Mr. Mayorkas is the first immigrant and Latino to be nominated Department of Homeland Security Secretary. He will not only bring critical leadership but a set of life experiences that will animate the Department’s work ahead. His implementation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and other relief programs show that he understands the impact the department has on real people’s lives. AILA leaders have confidence in his willingness to re-engage with the public and make government transparent and accountable. He has demonstrated a commitment to serving the best interests of people, not politics. We look forward to him taking the helm and restoring humanity and common sense to the way we protect the homeland and everyone who lives in it.”