John F. Kelly Sworn in as New Secretary of DHS

Retired Marine Corps General John F. Kelly was officially sworn in as the fifth Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on January 20, 2016. Secretary Kelly replaces former secretary Jeh Johnson, who served in the role under President Obama since December of 2013.

Background on Secretary Kelly

General Kelly served in the United States Marine Corps for 45 years, closing his career as the commander of the United States Southern Command. This job exposed him to immigration and cross border issues in 32 countries in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. He is widely viewed to be a “border hawk” – that is, a person with a focus on securing the borders between the United States and her neighboring countries, especially Mexico.

The pick of General Kelly is generally greeted with approval in immigration circles, mainly because the alternative possible picks had such hardline views on immigration policies. General Kelly has not stated anything of note related to potential employment-based immigration policies.


The DHS is the third largest federal department and includes a number of subordinate federal agencies, including the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It remains to be seen how Secretary Kelly of Homeland Security will affect changes in immigration policy, especially with respect to employment-based immigration. MurthyDotCom will provide updates when any new and pertinent information becomes available.


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