Meet America's New Secretary of Homeland Security

Meet America's New Secretary of Homeland Security

Meet America's New Secretary of Homeland Security

On Wednesday, Nielsen was sworn in to lead DHS, taking over the agency from Duke.

"Congratulations to Kirstjen Nielsen on becoming the sixth Secretary of Homeland Security", acting secretary Elaine Duke said in a statement Tuesday.

On December 5, 2017, Kirstjen Nielsen was confirmed as the new Secretary of Department of Homeland Security by the Senate on a bi-partisan 62-37 vote, with just 11 votes from the Senate minority for her confirmation.

While Nielsen reportedly "waffled", ultimately not leaving her post as the DHS chief of staff at the time, the role would have effectively made her the head of cyber operations for the agency.

Secretary Nielsen was joined by White House and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials during a brief swearing-in at the White House. In the meantime, Duke took over DHS.

Nielsen's appointment had been viewed as a sign of Kelly's tightening grip on the administration since replacing Reince Priebus as Trump's chief of staff in July.

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After her confirmation, Breitbart News, the alt-right mouthpiece run by former Trump strategist Steve Bannon, mocked her as "Lady DACA" - a reference to her assurance to Sen.

Democratic Representative Bennie Thompson said in a statement that Nielsen had not yet shown "she has the ability to lead a workforce of 240,000 while keeping the country safe and secure", and said DHS had so far been used as a "political tool of the White House".

Nielsen faced challenges from Democrats on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee who said she lacked experience leading a large agency. Nielsen said the federal government should adjust its modeling and preparation for dealing with weather events related to climate changes, but refused to acknowledge the alleged human contributions to those changes.

That statement failed to allay the concerns of Harris - who still voted against Nielsen, who said in a statement that she "equivocated" on Dreamers - and earned her the scorn of the Bannon wing, which has characterized her as a threat to Trump's "populist-nationalist agenda" and an ally of the "Never Trump" movement. Republican Senator Lamar Alexander did not vote, and no Republicans voted against her confirmation. 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". However, this will be a major issue for the new DHS secretary to address.

"It is my greatest honor to serve as secretary alongside the remarkable men and women of DHS", said Secretary Nielsen.

"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.

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