Senate confirms new DHS chief


The Senate confirmed President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Department of Homeland Security Tuesday, almost two months after John Kelly left the agency to be the president's chief of staff. She was viewed as his no-nonsense gatekeeper there, filtering information from aides to the chief of staff, who then decides what to pass along to Trump, according to the Washington Post. The DHS has 22 subagencies, including immigration enforcement, transportation security, disaster preparedness and response, the Secret Service, and the Coast Guard. She served as Kelly's chief of staff at DHS and eventually moved with him to the White House, serving as deputy chief of staff.

When Kelly assumed the office of White House chief of staff on July 31, Deputy DHS Secretary Elaine Duke became acting DHS secretary.

One of the Democrats who voted against Nielsen, Sen.

We have not seen any report about Nielsen's views on the Trump administration's position on whether "Dreamers", as those who qualified for USA residency under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program are often called, should be allowed to stay in the United States.

Nielsen breezed through her confirmation hearing last month before members of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, assuring lawmakers that she would not obey an unlawful order from the White House.

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Senate Majority Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called Nielsen a qualified candidate with the talent and experience to succeed. Kamala Harris, D-Calif, who voted against Nielsen's nomination, criticized her stances on immigration and the environment, as well as her experience. She served in the Transportation Security Administration during the George W. Bush administration and has also worked as a private-sector cybersecurity consultant.

But both Kelly and Nielsen have said that a wall on the entire 3,200 kilometres frontier with Mexico would be inappropriate, and that other measures, including electronic monitoring, would be required as well. However, this will be a major issue for the new DHS secretary to address.

Her confirmation came on a day when DHS reclaimed substantial success in slowing illegal immigration across the southern border and arresting and deporting criminal aliens.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on September 5 that the DACA program will end in six months, giving Congress time to find a legislative solution for people enrolled in the program. They also cited concerns about possible White House interference in a recent DHS decision to send home thousands of Nicaraguans and Haitians long granted US protection.

As we noted in that report, the Trump administration's actions left Original DACA recipients unaffected.