Alejandro Mayorkas

United States Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security since 2021

Alejandro Nicholas Mayorkas (born November 24, 1959) is a Cuban-American lawyer and politician. Mayorkas is the 7th and current United States Secretary of Homeland Security since February 2, 2021 during the Joe Biden cabinet. He was the Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security from December 23, 2013 to October 31, 2016.[3]

Alejandro Mayorkas
7th United States Secretary of Homeland Security
Assumed office
February 2, 2021
PresidentJoe Biden
DeputyJohn Tien
Kristie Canegallo (acting)
Preceded byKirstjen Nielsen
6th United States Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security
In office
December 23, 2013 – October 28, 2016
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byJane Holl Lute
Succeeded byElaine Duke
Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
In office
August 12, 2009 – December 23, 2013
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byJonathan Scharfen (acting)
Succeeded byLori Scialabba (acting)
United States Attorney for the Central District of California
In office
December 21, 1998 – April 20, 2001
PresidentBill Clinton
George W. Bush
Preceded byNora Margaret Manella[1]
Succeeded byDebra Wong Yang[2]
Personal details
Alejandro Nicholas Mayorkas

(1959-11-24) November 24, 1959 (age 64)
Havana, Cuba
Political partyDemocratic
EducationUniversity of California, Berkeley (BA)
Loyola Marymount University (JD)

Early life


Alejandro Nicholas Mayorkas[4] was born in Havana, Cuba, on November 24, 1959.[5] When he was one year old, his parents fled with him and his sister to the United States in 1960 as refugees, following the Cuban Revolution. He lived in Miami, Florida, before his family moved to Los Angeles, California, where he was raised.[6]

Mayorkas graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts degree with distinction.[7] He received his Juris Doctor in 1985 from Loyola Law School, where he was an editor of the Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Review.[8]

Secretary of Homeland Security




On November 23, 2020, then President-elect Joe Biden announced that his plans to nominate Mayorkas to be the next United States Secretary of Homeland Security.[9][10] In February 2021, Mayorkas was confirmed by the United States Senate on a 56-43 vote with many Republicans criticizing his nomination.[11] Mayorkas is the first refugee and first person born in Latin America to lead the department.[12]



Early on in his tenure, arrests increased at the Mexico-United States border. In June 2021, the monthly number of arrested migrants reached a decade high of 188,800.[13]

On October 31, 2023, Mayorkas testified before the Senate Homeland Security Committee, saying that more than 600,000 people illegally made their way into the United States without being apprehended by border agents during the 2023 fiscal year.[14][15]

On February 13, 2024, Mayorkas was impeached, with a 214–213 vote, by the United States House of Representatives. This came after an earlier unsuccessful impeachment vote one week before.[16] Mayorkas is only the second cabinet member to be impeached, the first being Secretary of War William Belknap in 1876.[17]

Personal life


Mayorkas and his wife Tanya have two daughters.[18]


  1. "PN19 - Nomination of Alejandro N. Mayorkas for Department of Justice, 106th Congress (1999-2000)". August 2, 1999. Archived from the original on May 4, 2019. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  2. "PN1594 - Nomination of Debra W. Yang for Department of Justice, 107th Congress (2001-2002)". April 22, 2002. Archived from the original on May 4, 2019. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
  3. "Alejandro Mayorkas". June 27, 2016. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
  4. "Alejandro Nicholas Mayorkas – Department of Homeland Security, 113th Congress (2013-2014)". United States Congress. December 20, 2013. Archived from the original on November 23, 2020.
  5. Hesson, Ted (November 24, 2020). "Biden picks Cuban-American lawyer Mayorkas as U.S. homeland security chief". Reuters. Archived from the original on November 23, 2020. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  6. Marshall, Serena (October 27, 2015). "55 Years Later, US Official Prepares for Emotional Return to Cuba". ABC News. Archived from the original on January 10, 2020. Retrieved June 27, 2020.
  7. newsamericas (2020-11-24). "10 Things To Know About The Man Who Could Become The First Caribbean Born U.S. DHS Secretary". Caribbean and Latin America Daily News. Retrieved 2021-03-10.
  8. Rosenzweig, David (October 9, 1998). "Feinstein Recommends Mayorkas for U.S. Attorney in L.A." Los Angeles Times. ProQuest 421322576. Archived from the original on January 7, 2017. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
  9. "Biden Reveals Some Cabinet Picks". The Wall Street Journal. November 23, 2020. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
  10. Crowley, Michael (November 23, 2020). "Biden Will Nominate First Woman to Lead Intelligence, First Latino to Run Homeland Security". The New York Times. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
  11. "Senate confirms Biden's DHS pick after GOP delay". February 2, 2021. Retrieved February 2, 2021.
  12. Rodriguez, Sabrina (2021-02-02). "Mayorkas confirmed as secretary of Homeland Security". Politico. Retrieved 2021-02-02.
  13. Geneva Sands (July 14, 2021). "US-Mexico border arrests in June are the highest in at least a decade". CNN. Retrieved 2021-07-21.
  14. "Mayorkas confirms over 600,000 illegal immigrants evaded law enforcement at southern border last fiscal year". Fox News. October 31, 2023.
  15. "WATCH LIVE: FBI Director Wray, DHS head Mayorkas testify in Senate hearing on threats to U.S." PBS NewsHour. October 31, 2023.
  16. Grayer, Annie (2024-02-06). "House vote to impeach Mayorkas fails in stunning defeat for Republican leaders". CNN Politics. Retrieved 2024-02-14.
  17. "Mayorkas becomes first cabinet secretary impeached since 1876". Axios. Retrieved February 13, 2024.
  18. "Statement of Alejandro Nicholas Mayorkas to the Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate" (PDF). June 24, 2009. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 28, 2020. Retrieved November 30, 2020.

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