Senate votes to confirm Kirstjen Nielsen as the new DHS secretary

Share

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.

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.

Nielsen, 45, developed a reputation for fierce devotion to Kelly as his deputy at the White House, and before that as his chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security, which he ran from January until July. She has served as principal deputy White House chief of staff, reporting to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, since September 6.

"I look forward to working closely with Kirstjen and the Department to combat the most critical homeland security challenges facing the United States, including securing our borders, defending against cyber threats, enforcing immigration laws, counterterrorism and more". Nielsen was the second woman to head this ministry after Janet Napolitano, who was in office from 2009 to 2013. The Senate had confirmed Duke for that position on April 4 by a vote of 85-14.

"Why should we believe that, as smart as you are, and as well-spoken as you are, that someone who, as far as I know, never led an organization of even 100 people, much less 240,000, is ready to take on this responsibility?" Sen.

"Kirstjen Nielsen's experience in both the public and private sectors makes her the right person to lead this department", homeland security Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) said.

She also condemned white nationalism, rejected Islamophobia and promised to make cybersecurity a top priority. Her confirmation Tuesday gives the White House a DHS chief well-versed in the politics and the policy goals of Trump's immigration enforcement agenda.

Nielsen comes to the job largely on the power of his endorsement.

As we noted in that report, the Trump administration's actions left Original DACA recipients unaffected. However, Trump's recent statement indicates that instead of eliminating DACA, he merely wants to legitimize it by replacing Obama's executive orders with legislative authority.

Share