“To see the insurrection, the horrific acts of January 6, were not only personally devastating, but created in me a commitment to redouble our efforts, to fight hate and to fight one of the greatest threats that we face currently on our homeland, which is the threat of domestic terrorism,” Mayorkas stated in an interview with CNN’s Ana Cabrera that aired on “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.”

Mayorkas, who was sworn in Tuesday, is the primary Senate-confirmed Homeland Security secretary in practically two years and can oversee the division’s sprawling mission, which incorporates cybersecurity, immigration and Covid-19 response, amongst many others. He’s the primary Latino and immigrant to helm the division.

Mayorkas underscored that the menace of domestic terrorism “is persistent” and stated the division will proceed to work with its state and native companions to fight it. The secretary conceded that one of the challenges is figuring out “where the line between hateful rhetoric and hateful action takes place.”

The concern was reiterated by the division’s appearing deputy secretary, David Pekoske, who stated Wednesday that domestic violent extremism is a “particular area of concern” heading into Super Bowl weekend, talking at a information convention with the NFL and different regulation enforcement officers.

The Department of Homeland Security is additionally on the forefront of responding to the coronavirus pandemic and serving to to implement the use of masks.

On Sunday, the division stated Transportation Security Administration employees have the authority to implement President Joe Biden’s transportation masks mandate at TSA screening checkpoints and all through the business and public transportation system.

“The enforcement of these directives is quite frankly a challenge. We rely, at least in part, upon the voluntary compliance of the American public. Let the death toll itself be a mandate to people to wear masks, to distance appropriately, to take the precautions that are required to protect the health and well-being of one another,” he advised CNN.


Mandating the use of masks is among the many methods the Biden administration has distinguished itself from the earlier administration, together with in the way in which the administration is approaching immigration.

Mayorkas, who has set an empathetic tone, advised CNN on Wednesday: “The cruelty of the prior administration has come to an end.”

The secretary will chair the duty drive centered on reunifying households separated on the US-Mexico border. Mayorkas appeared to choke up when requested about what had gone by his thoughts when he heard the cries of youngsters who had been taken from their dad and mom underneath the Trump administration.

“I am a father. I am a husband. I am a son. I am a brother. I have not heard before a pain as acute and heartbreaking as that, and it is our commitment to make sure that pain is not felt again,” he stated.

During his presidential marketing campaign, Biden pledged to arrange a activity drive centered on figuring out and reunifying households separated on the US-Mexico border underneath the Trump administration’s controversial “zero tolerance” coverage. The administration’s new activity drive — introduced Tuesday — stems from that promise.

It will probably be charged with figuring out all youngsters separated from their dad and mom or authorized guardians on the southern border, facilitating and enabling the reunification of youngsters with their households, and offering common experiences to the President, together with one containing suggestions.

“Our responsibility is to reunite the families and to support and facilitate their healing,” Mayorkas stated, including that that might embrace well being care and utilizing authorities within the immigration system.

The institution of the duty drive was one of a collection of immigration govt orders signed Tuesday. The orders largely direct evaluations of insurance policies and should not have an instantaneous affect, regarding immigration advocates and attorneys scrambling for solutions on the long run of migrants topic to Trump-era insurance policies.

Mayorkas stated he is been concerned in discussions about ending the Trump-era coverage that requires migrants, some searching for asylum within the US, to attend in Mexico till their courtroom dates. Thousands proceed to attend in squalor and infrequently in harmful circumstances.

“The urgency of that also cannot be overstated,” he stated.