Senate Confirms Kirstjen Nielsen As New Homeland Security Secretary

Pauline Gross
December 7, 2017

Kirstjen Nielsen was sworn in Wednesday as secretary of the Department Homeland Security after she received Senate confirmation the day prior by a vote of 62-37.

Nielsen is close to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who was President Donald Trump's first secretary at the Department of Homeland Security before he was brought in to discipline Trump's chaotic office at the end of July. The DHS has 22 subagencies, including immigration enforcement, transportation security, disaster preparedness and response, the Secret Service, and the Coast Guard.

DHS Acting Secretary Elaine Duke, who will serve as Nielsen's deputy, said: "Nielsen is a homeland security expert with a deep understanding of the issues facing the Department and is well-positioned to lead us into the future". It is hard to imagine how the head of one of our federal government's executive departments, who all report to the president, can ever be "free from political interference from the White House".

"Throughout her confirmation process, Ms. Nielsen failed to demonstrate that she would provide the steady, experienced leadership - free from political interference from the White House - that the department needs".

Despite increasing prominence in the national conversation, cybersecurity was a secondary topic during Nielsen's confirmation hearing. She served in the Transportation Security Administration during the George W. Bush administration and has also worked as a private-sector cybersecurity consultant.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) criticized Nielsen for playing a role in the development of Trump's travel ban and a failure to acknowledge how humans contribute to climate change, according to the AP.

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And in a statement released after the Senate confirmed Nielsen, Sen.

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.

Homeland Security has been leading the charge on implementing Trump's aggressive immigration agenda, and Nielsen pledged to continue that work.

"Under a rational bill these individuals would be able to become lawful permanent residents with a pathway to citizenship", a Reuters report said, quoting Dougherty. However, Dougherty's statement on October 3 indicated that the administration's termination of DACA was not as thorough as most people were led to believe. She followed Kelly to the White House where she was Deputy Chief of Cabinet.

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

Other reports by GizPress

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