An experienced, empathetic and effective leader, Mayorkas is a longtime champion of collaboration between law enforcement and the community. He knows that any community where immigrants live in fear risks the safety of its whole population, and he has a commendable record of working to change this dynamic. During his time as a top official in the Obama administration he worked diligently to develop community policing and border security policies that kept native-born Americans and immigrants safe, and he understands the issues law enforcement and immigrant communities face day- to-day.
I am a believer in Mayorkas’ community-first mentality. I saw it work in my city, so I know it will work across the country.
Nationwide, we need this same kind of commonsense approach to immigration reform in order to make real and sustainable strides toward fixing our system. There’s no one better suited to help us get there. Mayorkas is seasoned at embracing and implementing this kind of reform. He implemented Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and overhauled visa processes for immigrant workers during his work in the Obama administration — key actions that acknowledge and support the role of immigrants in our economy and society.
A political refugee from Cuba whose family sought safety in the U.S., Mayorkas is no stranger to the challenges and triumphs of building a life here.
Here in Dayton, the growth in our immigrant population — it has more than doubled since the mid-2000s — has helped the city thrive. Having a leader at the federal level who understands the experiences and challenges of this growing portion of my community is a major boon for us — and the country. I know he’ll support, not hinder, our growth.
I look forward to having a competent, compassionate leader at DHS. Mayorkas’ commitment to and respect for law enforcement, combined with his understanding and empathy for the community, make me confident that under his leadership, we can bolster community safety and achieve commonsense reform. Let’s get to work.
Richard Biehl is the Police Chief of Dayton. He is a member of the Dayton Daily News Community Advisory Board. Guest columns are submitted or requested fact-based opinion pieces typically of 300 to 450 words.