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First round of Biden cabinet and senior staff picks includes historic firsts

President-elect Joe Biden has announced several historic cabinet picks, including the first Latino U.S. Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees immigrant enforcement and citizenship programs.

Alejandro Mayorkas would be the first Latino and the first immigrant to lead the DHS, according to NPR. He is Cuban American. As a former deputy secretary at the DHS, Mayorkas who was born in Havana, is credited with implementing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) program.

“When I was very young, the United States provided my family and me a place of refuge,” Mayorkas posted on Twitter. “Now, I have been nominated to be the DHS Secretary and oversee the protection of all Americans and those who flee persecution in search of a better life for themselves and their loved ones.”

Other historic appointments to be announced this week, the New York Times reports, will include: Janet L. Yellen as the first woman to serve as secretary of the U.S. Treasury. Yellin is the former chair of the Federal Reserve Board. Avril Haines will become the first woman director of national intelligence. Anthony J. Blinkin will serve as secretary of state. Former U.S. Sen. John Kerry will be Biden’s chief advisor on global climate change.


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