Kirstjen Nielsen sworn in as DHS secretary

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U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement upon Senate confirmation of Kirstjen Nielsen as Homeland Security Secretary. Dem commissioner joins energy regulator Senate panel advances controversial environmental nominee GOP bets that tax bill will unlock corporate cash overseas MORE (D-Del.) asked during her confirmation hearing. As a former DHS chief of staff, Nielsen understands the department's daily operations and is ready to lead on her first day, McConnell said. Though no GOP senators sided against her, the outcome reflected both intense opposition to Trump as well as doubts about Nielsen's executive leadership experience and willingness to challenge the White House in the event of a disagreement. She will take over from Acting Secretary Elaine Duke, who filled the top job in a temporary capacity for more than four months, longer than any DHS chief in the agency's 15-year history.

During the hearing, observed a report in the New York Times, Nielsen responded to Senator Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) who accused Nielsen of refusing to say that humans are the primary cause of the rise in global temperatures. 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. DHS has 22 subagencies, including everything from immigration enforcement, transportation security, disaster preparedness and response to the Secret Service and the Coast Guard.

Nielsen was nominated by President Donald Trump on October 11, 2017, to replace outgoing DHS Secretary John Kelly.

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Nielsen was also part of the White House Homeland Security Council under President George W. Bush's administration.

The Trump administration announced in September it would end the program, which allows undocumented immigrants brought into the country as children to live and work.

"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.

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