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Senate Confirms Trump's Pick for Homeland Security Secretary

08 December 2017

Nielsen, Kelly's protégé, now takes over the DHS as Trump looks to make his long-promised border wall a reality and to continue cracking down on immigration.

After a Senate vote on Tuesday, Kirstjen Nielsen has been confirmed as John Kelly's replacement to lead the Department of Homeland Security.

Kelly left the Department of Homeland Security for the White House in late July during a shakeup that included the resignation of the former chief of staff, Reince Priebus. However, unnamed officials at DHS have denied that Duke plans to quit.

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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.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Nielsen understands the department's daily operations due to her previous experience and is ready to lead on her first day.

Nielsen will fill the vacancy left by former DHS Secretary John Kelly, who left the department in July to serve as President Donald Trump's chief of staff. Nielsen, who served as Kelly's chief of staff at the DHS, will replace the acting secretary, Elaine Duke, who has led the DHS since Kelly left. During her confirmation hearing, noted the Post, she told senators she learned key lessons about emergency management by having a front-row seat at the much-criticized Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina.

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Nielsen said at her confirmation hearing last month that climate change is a crucial issue and said the Trump administration is revising its climate models to better respond to rising sea levels.

Nielsen faced challenges from Democrats on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee who said she lacked experience leading a large agency. 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".

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and a onetime prospect for the DHS top job, said, "I am confident that Kirstjen's mission-focused style of leadership will help her succeed in leading the men and women of DHS and ensuring we reform and improve the Department".

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"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. Ultimately, however, it is the president and Congress who must define what our national immigration policy must be.

Senate Confirms Trump's Pick for Homeland Security Secretary