A Conversation with Alejandro Mayorkas

October 22, 2012

Alejandro Mayorkas is the Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  Nominated by President Obama in April 2009, he was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate in August 2009.  As

Director of USCIS, Mayorkas leads the agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security charged with operating the largest immigration system in the world.  He is responsible for enhancing USCIS efforts to provide accurate and useful information to customers, grant immigration and citizenship benefits, promote an awareness and understanding of citizenship, and ensure the integrity of the immigration system.  Director Mayorkas is responsible for an 18,000 member workforce throughout more than 200 offices worldwide and oversees a $3 billion annual budget.

Prior to his appointment as the Director of USCIS, Mayorkas was a partner in the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers LLP.  He advised boards of directors and executives, led internal investigations, and litigated cases across a wide array of industries.  He served as a member of O’Melveny & Myers’ worldwide governing Policy Committee and as Chair of the firm’s Values Awards Committee and the Warren Christopher Scholarship Committee.  In 2008, the National Law Journal recognized Mayorkas as one of the “50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America.”

In 1998, Senator Dianne Feinstein recommended Mayorkas to be the United States Attorney for the Central District of California.  Nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the United States Senate, he became the youngest U.S. Attorney to serve the nation at that time.  Mayorkas led an office of 240 Assistant U.S. Attorneys and oversaw the prosecution of cases of national and international significance.  He served as the Vice-Chair of the Attorney General’s Advisory Subcommittee on Civil Rights and as a member of the Subcommittee on Ethics in Government.

From 1989 to 1998, Mayorkas served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California.  Between 1996 and 1998, he additionally served as Chief of the Office’s General Crimes Section overseeing the training and trial work of new Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Criminal Division.  Throughout his twelve years as a federal prosecutor, he received numerous awards and commendations from federal and local law enforcement officials and agencies.

Listen to complete interview.


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