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Photo: Joshua Roberts-Pool/Getty Images

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Alejandro Mayorkas as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, 56-43.

Why it matters: Mayorkas is an Obama administration alum and oversaw the implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. He will be the first Latino and immigrant to hold the job, which largely oversees immigration issues in the U.S.

  • Mayorkas nomination was initially delayed by Republicans, but several Republicans voted with Democrats to break the filibuster allowing the confirmation to move forward.
  • Mayorkas' confirmation vote was then scheduled for Monday evening but was delayed due to bad weather in Washington, D.C.
  • DHS has gone without a Senate-confirmed secretary since Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was booted from her role in 2019.

Of note: Beyond immigration, Mayorkas will also play a leading role in tackling domestic terrorism threats, including the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.

  • He'll further be tasked with addressing the SolarWinds cyberattack on the U.S., which intelligence says was conducted by Russian operatives. Former President Trump sought to downplay the attack and suggested it could have been China instead.

Go deeper

Biden to sign order creating task force to reunite families separated at border

Photo:

President Biden will sign three immigration-related executive orders on Tuesday — including one that will establish a task force aimed at reuniting migrant families separated under former President Trump's hardline immigration policies, according to senior administration officials.

Why it matters: The Trump administration oversaw the separation of more than 5,500 migrant families, including hundreds of children whose parents or guardians have still not been located, per a December court filing.

California governor declares drought emergency in most counties

A sign in April on the outskirts of Buttonwillow in California's Kern County, one of the top agriculture producing counties in the San Joaquin Valley, after historically low winter rainfall. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) extended a drought emergency declaration to cover 41 of the state's 58 counties on Monday.

Why it matters: Most of California and the American West are experiencing an "extreme" or "exceptional" drought, per the U.S. Drought Monitor. Newsom and other officials are concerned California could experience a repeat of the catastrophic 2020 wildfire season.

3 hours ago - World

Jerusalem crisis escalates after Hamas and Israel trade rocket fire

Israeli air strikes in the southern Gaza Strip on May 10. Photo: Said Khatib/AFP via Getty Images

Nine children were among 20 Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrikes after Hamas fired dozens of rockets at Jerusalem for the first time since 2014 Monday, per AP and Reuters.

The big picture: The rockets come after escalating violence in Jerusalem has injured 250 Palestinians and several Israeli police officers during protests over the planned evictions of Palestinian families from their homes that began Friday.