US Travel applauds confirmation of Kirstjen Nielsen as Homeland Security Secretary

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The Senate confirmed Kirstjen Nielsen as the next secretary of the Department of Homeland Security on a 62-37 vote on Tuesday.

With more than a third of the Senate voting against her, Nielsen's margin of approval was the narrowest ever for the confirmation of a DHS secretary. It is clear that she has the full confidence of the President and former DHS Secretary John Kelly, who is now the White House chief of staff.

"By confirming Ms. Nielsen's nomination to lead the DHS, this Senate will take a serious step to strengthen our nation's security", Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said in a statement.

But Democrats raised concerns during her confirmation hearing about her lack of leadership experience, noting that DHS is a sprawling agency with roughly 240,000 employees. "I am glad she can take charge of her agency and continue her work to keep Americans safe". "She has yet to acknowledge the overwhelming scientific consensus that human behavior contributes to climate change, even as states like California face the increasing threats of wildfires, floods, and rising sea levels". They also cited concerns about possible White House interference in a recent DHS decision to send home thousands of Nicaraguans and Haitians long granted USA protection. Ten Democrats joined in the vote to confirm Nielsen on December 5, with no Republicans voting against. Bush. endorsed Nielsen's nomination.

Kirstjen Nielsen is now an aide to White House chief of staff John Kelly, who served as Trump's first homeland secretary.

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Homeland Security oversees the nation's borders, cybersecurity and response to natural disasters, among other areas.

"Ms. Nielsen has been engaged in counterterrorism, all-hazard risk mitigation, critical infrastructure protection, and response policy from the earliest days of what we now know as homeland security", the former officials wrote in a letter to the Senate Homeland Security Committee.

Her position will also drop her into the middle of multiple immigration fights, as senators debate how to address the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Trump pledged during his presidential campaign to build a U.S-Mexico border wall.

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