Alejandro Mayorkas, former deputy secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, was sworn in as DHS secretary Tuesday shortly after a 56-43 confirmation vote by the Senate.
He became the first immigrant to hold the No. 1 position at the department and held the second-in-command role from 2013 to 2016 under the Obama administration, DHS said Tuesday.
Mayorkas said will work to “ensure that our immigration system represents the empathy of the American people" and urged Congress to support President Joe Biden's legislative proposals that seek to update citizenship and border management processes.
Previously, he was director of the Citizenship and Immigration Services agency and spearheaded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The Cuban-born government veteran served as U.S. attorney for the Central District of California in 1998 after more than nine years as the district's assistant attorney.
The Wall Street Journal reports the Senate also confirmed Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, as secretary for the Department of Transportation.
Buttigieg worked at McKinsey & Co. as a consultant and was previously a candidate for chair of the Democratic National Committee. He earned the rank of lieutenant at the U.S. Navy Reserve in 2009.
During his confirmation hearing last month, Buttigieg vowed to drive the Biden administration's initiatives to modernize transportation infrastructure in response to climate change.