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Mayorkas sworn in as homeland security secretary

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris (R) swears in Alejandro Mayorkas as the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, as his wife, Tanya Mayorkas (C), holds a Union Prayer Book during a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Photo by Al Drago/UPI
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris (R) swears in Alejandro Mayorkas as the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, as his wife, Tanya Mayorkas (C), holds a Union Prayer Book during a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Photo by Al Drago/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 2 (UPI) -- The Senate on Tuesday voted to confirm Alejandro Mayorkas as President Joe Biden's secretary of homeland security.

The chamber voted 56-43, in favor of the confirmation. Hours later, Vice President Kamala Harris administered the oath of office to Mayorkas, who was joined by his wife, Tanya Mayorkas, and daughters, Giselle and Amelia.

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"Congratulations, Mr. Secretary," Harris said after the swearing-in ceremony. "Congratulations to the whole family. OK, it's done!"

With the vote, Mayorkas makes history as the first immigrant and Latino to lead the Department of Homeland Security, which implements and oversees the nation's immigration policies. He served as deputy Homeland Security secretary from 2013 to 2016

His confirmation comes the same day Biden signed executive orders to reform the nation's immigration policies, including one to reunify migrant families separated under the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" border policy.

Earlier Tuesday, the Senate confirmed Pete Buttigieg as transportation secretary, making him the first openly gay Cabinet secretary in U.S. history.

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Housing and Urban Development Secretary. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki (L) looks on as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Fudge, the first Black woman to lead the department in decades, speaks at a news conference in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. Photo by Michael Reynolds/UPI | License Photo

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