Things That Matter

Here Are All Of the Latinos Set to Serve in Joe Biden’s Incoming Administration So Far

Photos: agbecerra/Instagram; Public Domain

President Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration is just days away and the entire country is buzzing with the prospect of change. Joe Biden ran his campaign on a message of unity and healing, and part of that message included a promise for more diversity in his upcoming administration. 

As he stated in his victory speech, his campaign was supported by “the broadest and most diverse coalition in history.”

“I said at the outset, I wanted to represent this campaign to represent and look like America,” he stated. “We’ve done that. Now that’s what I want the administration to look like and act like.”

Communities of color across the country were crossing their fingers that Biden would follow his word and appoint a diverse staff for his upcoming administration. And that appears to be just what Biden is doing. 

Biden has assembled an incredibly diverse group of people to fill his administration, including his cabinet. Although his cabinet picks have not become official yet (they must be confirmed by the Senate), we know who Biden’s nominations are. Here is a round up of all of the Latinos set to be in Joe Biden’s administration.

Xavier Becerra – Secretary of Health and Human Services

Photo: agbecerra/Instagram

Born in Sacramento to Mexican parents, Xavier Beccera is currently the Attorney General of California. Before that, he was a California Congressman from 1993 to 2017. Beccera is an especially important cabinet pick because he will be tasked with guiding the U.S. to the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alejandro Mayorkas – Secretary of Homeland Security

Photo: Public Domain

Alejandro Mayorkas is Biden’s Cuban-born pick for Secretary of Homeland Security. This position oversees both U.S. Customs and Border Protection (including Border Patrol) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (aka ICE). If confirmed, Mayorkas will be the first Latino and the first immigrant to fill this position.

Miguel Cardona – Secretary of Education

Photo: Getty Images

Miguel Cardonna has been Connecticut’s commissioner of education since 2019. According to Biden, he chose Cardonna because the Boricua educator will “strive to eliminate long-standing inequities and close racial and socioeconomic opportunity gaps” within America’s educational system.

Julie Chávez Rodriguez – Director, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs

Photo: Public Domain

Previously Biden’s deputy campaign manager, as the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, Rodriguez will “provide coordination between the White House and state and local governments.” The granddaughter of Chicano activist César Chávez, Rodriguez has the political pedigree to back up her resume.

Julissa Reynoso Pantaleon – Chief of Staff for the First Lady

Photo: Public Domain

Dominican-American attorney and former diplomat Julissa Reynoso Pantaleón will serve as incoming First Lady Dr. Jill Biden’s Chief of Staff. “I wanted someone with heart and a passion for public service, ” Dr. Biden told NBC News. “I found all of that and more in Julissa–an accomplished diplomat, legal expert, and strategist.”

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Alejandro Mayorkas Is The First Latino And Immigrant To Be Named Secretary Of The Department Of Homeland Security

Things That Matter

Alejandro Mayorkas Is The First Latino And Immigrant To Be Named Secretary Of The Department Of Homeland Security

Joshua Roberts-Pool / Getty Images

Alejandro Mayorkas is the first Latino and the first immigrant to lead the Department of Homeland Security. Mayorkas is Cuban-born and was one of the original architects of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Alejandro Mayorkas is the first Latino and immigrant to be confirmed as the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

Secretary Mayorkas is inheriting a Trump-era DHS and is immediately getting to work to rectify issues that the Biden administration has highlighted. Two of the most pressing issues are heading up a task force to reunite migrant families who were separated by the previous administration and reviewing the “Remain in Mexico” policy.

“Remain in Mexico” is a policy that the Trump administration created and enforced that sent migrants to Mexico to await their asylum cases. The policy has been criticized both by U.S. and international politicians as a humanitarian issue.

It isn’t Mayorkas’ first time working for DHS.

Sec. Mayorkas was the deputy secretary of DHS from December 2013 – October 2016 under President Barack Obama. During that time, Mayorkas was crucial in responding to the 2013 – 14 Ebola virus epidemic and 2015 – 16 Zika virus epidemic. Mayorkas is ready to come back to the department and to bring back what he sees are the department’s mission.

“DHS bears an extraordinary weight on behalf of the American people, the weight of grave challenges seen and unseen,” Sec. Mayorkas said in a statement. “It is the greatest privilege of my life to return to the Department to lead the men and women who dedicate their talent and energy to the safety and security of our nation. I will work every day to ensure that they have the tools they need to execute their missions with honor and integrity. The mission of the Department of Homeland Security is to safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values. The United States is a welcoming and empathetic nation, one that finds strength in its diversity. I pledge to defend and secure our country without sacrificing these American values.”

Mayorkas is no stranger to working on America’s immigration system.

Mayorkas is one of the original architects of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which is at stake because of the previous administration. The Biden administration has made a promise to preserve DACA and to create a pathway to citizenship to the 11 million undocumented people living in the U.S.

President Biden has introduced legislation to reform the current immigration system. The legislation has a timeframe for all undocumented people in the U.S. to become citizens if they follow certains steps and meet certain criteria.

While Mayorkas got bipartisan support in the Senate confirmation, some Republicans did not like his work in immigration. Sen. Marco Rubio, a fellow Cuban, voted to opposed Mayorkas.

“Not only has Mayorkas pledged to undo the sensible protections put in place by the Trump Administration that ended the dangerous policy of catch and release, but his nomination is further evidence that the Biden Administration intends to pursue a radical immigration agenda,” Sen. Rubio said in a statement.

READ: President Biden Introduces Legislation To Create Pathway To Citizenship For 11 Million Undocumented People

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Latino Twitter Gifted The World With These Seriously Good Inauguration Memes

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Latino Twitter Gifted The World With These Seriously Good Inauguration Memes

Google/NBC

It’s official: the United States has a new president! Yesterday was Inauguration Day in the U.S. and we welcomed Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States and Kamala Harris as the 49th Vice President.

It was an historic day full of major milestones for the country and the world – and that was made obvious by the sheer amount of attention paid to the day’s events. One has to look no further than the amount of memes that were produced in the wake of the inauguration, from Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga to Bernie Sanders and the adiós to Donald and Melania Trump.

As usual, Latino Twitter showed up with the memes and left many of us on the floor laughing our a** off. These are some of the honorable mentions from a day full of historical moments and incredible memes.

Tío Bernie may have stolen the spotlight from President Biden with his very practical inauguration attire.

The long-serving Vermont senator was there to watch proceedings, bracing the D.C. cold to witness Biden being sworn in as president. To withstand the cold climes, Sanders came prepared in a big old reliable coat and mittens – with his inaugural look and general demeanour waiting for the event to begin capturing the creativity of the internet through a series of ‘Cold Bernie’ memes.

Bernie was everywhere!

The former presidential candidate was popping up in all sorts of places as the Internet memed him into a frenzy.

And he was all of us…

The former aspiring presidential candidate later addressed the attention his outfit was getting in an interview with Gayle King, noting: ‘You know in Vermont we know something about the cold and are not so concerned about good fashion, we want to keep warm and that’s what I did today.’

The Internet has even created a website where you can insert Tío Bernie into any scene you want with Google Maps.

And yes, it actually works!

Michelle Obama told us all how she felt without telling us all how she felt.

When Michelle and Barack Obama departed the White House in 2017 to make way for Donald and Melania Trump to take over the reigns, Michelle did not hide how difficult and upsetting she found the moment. So a lot of people were thrilled to see the Michelle we know and love, happy, thrilled and generally paving the way at the 2021 inauguration ceremony.

Lady Gaga giving the world Hunger Games vibes…

Lady Gaga had the honour of performing the American national anthem, ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ and, of course, she ‘killed’ it. The dramatic and rousing performance was made even better by her custom-made Schiaparelli gown, adorned in the US colours and complete with patriotic hidden meanings. However some thought they’d seen it – particularly the brooch – before…

Then there were the adiós Trump memes that left Mexican Twitter on fire!

A la verga! Adiós, Señor Trump! 👋

This one is too good!

I. Can’t. Stop. Laughing.

Mexican Facebook was also on fire!

This Twitter user is too right, Mexican Facebook really is undefeated!

And some want to reclaim red hats!

If you could bring back red hats, what would yours say?

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