Blog Post: LEITF Members Express Support for Mayorkas DHS Nomination
December 21, 2020
Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force Blog
LEITF Members Express Support for Mayorkas DHS Nomination
President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Alejandro Mayorkas to lead the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Mayorkas served as director of USCIS under President Barack Obama and was instrumental in implementing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. He later became the deputy DHS secretary, a role in which he frequently collaborated with law enforcement while advocating for a fair and humane immigration system.
Mayorkas’s nomination has garnered support from many leaders in law enforcement, including Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force (LEITF) members. Forty-four LEITF members sent a letter to the Senate in support of confirming Mayorkas, stating:
Mayorkas understands the balance between keeping the nation secure and ensuring that we welcome the talent and the families that help all Americans reach their fullest potential. We believe he would serve the nation well as DHS Secretary.
Chief Richard Biehl (Dayton, OH) wrote in support of Mayorkas’s community-focused approach in an op-ed for the Dayton Daily News:
An experienced, empathetic and effective leader, Mayorkas is a longtime champion of collaboration between law enforcement and the community. He knows that any community where immigrants live in fear risks the safety of its whole population, and he has a commendable record of working to change this dynamic. During his time as a top official in the Obama administration he worked diligently to develop community policing and border security policies that kept native-born Americans and immigrants safe, and he understands the issues law enforcement and immigrant communities face day- to-day.
I am a believer in Mayorkas’ community-first mentality. I saw it work in my city, so I know it will work across the country.
LEITF Co-Chair Chief Art Acevedo (Houston, TX) wrote about Mayorkas’s demonstrated support for law enforcement and community policing principles in an op-ed for Fox News:
“During his time as a high-ranking immigration official in the Obama administration, Mayorkas made a point of working hand in hand with local law enforcement to achieve the best possible community policing policies. He championed smart border security and enforcement approaches that cut through bureaucratic red tape while ensuring the safety of all Americans.
Mayorkas also understands what is at stake in our communities when immigrants feel threatened. During his work in the Obama administration, he spoke with the Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force, a group to which I belong, on two separate occasions to understand exactly the challenges we face on the ground.”
Chief Acevedo and other LEITF members expressed their support for Mayorkas in a statement from the National Immigration Forum:
LEITF Co-Chair Chief Art Acevedo (Houston, TX):
“In his previous work, Alejandro Mayorkas has been a great partner to state and local law enforcement agencies. I know he will continue this partnership in his new role with the Department of Homeland Security. He will bring a commonsense approach to both the department and immigration enforcement.”
Chief Chris Blue, (Chapel Hill, NC):
“As a proud member of the Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force (LEITF), I am committed to protecting all members of my community and I’m committed to supporting policies that promote our ability to do so. I know, after many years of police work, that when immigrants feel safe in their communities, we are all safer. I am excited at the prospect of supporting Alejandro Mayorkas and the Department of Homeland Security in their efforts to bring smart and effective approaches to immigration enforcement and in building strong partnerships with local law enforcement.”
Sheriff Garry L. McFadden (Mecklenburg County, NC):
“Having a DHS Secretary who listens, understands the law both on the local and federal level, and who is not hostile to the communities we serve would be truly welcomed by me.”
Chief Chris Magnus (Tucson, AZ):
“As a law enforcement leader, I have seen firsthand how public safety is impacted in a negative way when members of our immigrant communities fear and mistrust the police. Over the past four years, high-ranking cabinet officials hostile to immigration have gone beyond just harsh rhetoric. This included attempting to make local police complicit in the enforcement of civil immigration laws and even worse, the separation of families. For these reasons, I applaud the nomination of Alejandro Mayorkas as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. His track record of building partnerships and implementing smart, effective approaches to immigration enforcement demonstrate his commitment to keeping all communities safe.”
LEITF Co-Chair Chief Orlando Rolón (Orlando, FL):
“Alejandro Mayorkas is a proven leader who understands the importance of balancing the needs for national security and the need to have meaningful immigration reform. As a law enforcement leader I am excited about the possibility of having Alejandro Mayorkas as U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security under President-elect Biden’s administration.”
Mayorkas has shown a commitment to the LEITF principles and once confirmed, will be the first immigrant and first Latino to serve as DHS Secretary. For more information on Alejandro Mayorkas, see the National Immigration Forum’s resource linked here.