Alejandro Mayorkas, Biden’s Homeland Security nominee, meets with Jewish groups to discuss anti-Semitism


(JTA) — Alejandro Mayorkas, the Jewish Latino nominee for Homeland Security secretary, met Friday via Zoom with Jewish groups concerned about the rise of the extreme right wing and the Trump administration’s restrictive immigration policies.

Participants described the 90-minute meeting as mostly a listening session by Mayorkas. Two said the Jewish groups wanted the Department of Homeland Security to do more to combat rising anti-Semitism on the right. Anti-hate groups have faulted the Trump administration for rolling back the tracking of far-right groups.

“There is so much more in the DHS portfolio in terms of what it could be doing to combat white supremacy, prevention and investigation side,” one of the participants said.

White supremacists were among the marauders who raided and looted the Capitol on Wednesday in a bid to overturn Joe Biden’s defeat of President Donald Trump.

Biden framed his decision to run as stemming in great part by what he said is Trump’s identification with the far right. Mayorkas, a deputy Homeland Security secretary during the Obama administration, has said he sees Jews as being a priority in need of protection.

Participants also pressed Mayorkas on Biden’s pledge to reverse Trump immigration policies. The president-elect has said he will end the restrictions on refugees imposed by Trump and will free children who are being detained, among other measures.

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