Kirstjen Nielsen was sworn in Wednesday as secretary of the Department Homeland Security after she received Senate confirmation the day prior by a vote of 62-37.
Nielsen was chosen by the White House as the preferred nominee in early 2017 but waffled on the decision, which stalled the nomination of DHS leadership for months. Nielsen was the second woman to head this ministry after Janet Napolitano, who was in office from 2009 to 2013. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), who voted against confirming Nielsen.
USA Today reported last month that during her confirmation hearing, Nielsen seemed to depart from Trump's signature campaign proposal to build a wall along the U.S.
"As our country continues to face ever-evolving threats at home and overseas, it is critical - now more than ever - that we have an experienced and apolitical leader at the Department of Homeland Security to work with us in our efforts to keep New Hampshire and the United States safe, secure, and free", said Sen.
"Ms. Nielsen is eminently qualified to run this important agency".
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTop GOP senators say they have the votes to pass tax bill Angus King on GOP tax push: "To call this a circus would be an insult to circuses" McConnell works to salvage tax bill MORE (R-Ky.) urged senators to back her nomination ahead of Tuesday's vote.
Kirstjen Nielsen, a top White House aide considered to be a cybersecurity expert, will now lead the DHS.
Nielsen comes to the job largely on the power of his endorsement.
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. However, this will be a major issue for the new DHS secretary to address.
"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. However, Dougherty's statement on October 3 indicated that the administration's termination of DACA was not as thorough as most people were led to believe. However, Trump's recent statement indicates that instead of eliminating DACA, he merely wants to legitimize it by replacing Obama's executive orders with legislative authority.