Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today spoke in a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing in support of the nomination of Alejandro Mayorkas to be secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
“I believe Ali is uniquely qualified to face the challenges before DHS. He offers a diverse background and a set of experiences in both the private and public sectors that are going to serve him well.
Ali was born in Cuba and fled with his family to the United States in 1960. He attended the University of California at Berkeley, where he earned a bachelor’s degree with distinction in 1981. He earned a law degree from Loyola Law School in 1985.
I first met Ali in the ‘90s when I recommended him to President Clinton for the position of U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California. In that role, he tried numerous cases from cybercrime to money laundering to immigration fraud.
Given his stellar work and his own personal story as an immigrant from Cuba, President Obama nominated Mr. Mayorkas in 2009 to be the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. In that role, Ali administered our immigration laws while preserving our legacy as a nation of immigrants.
Ali successfully implemented the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA. This program played a critical role, and remains critical, for hundreds of thousands of young people in this country.
After four years at USCIS, he was confirmed in 2013 to be deputy secretary of homeland security, where he faced a broad array of challenges. He led the DHS response to the Ebola and Zika epidemics, oversaw the agency’s efforts to combat terrorism and enhanced our border security.
He also worked to facilitate trade and travel and enforced our immigration laws. Critically, given the threats we face today, he also oversaw and coordinated the government’s efforts on cybersecurity.
Mr. Chairman, the United States faces substantial security concerns and threats. I would like this committee to know that this senator has full confidence that Ali Mayorkas will provide positive leadership and strongly urge this committee to support his nomination.”