Then-Customs and Border Protection Deputy Commissioner Kevin McAleenan testifies at a hearing before the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security on April 8, 2014. (Donna Burton/CBP)

Senate Confirms McAleenan as CBP Commissioner

The Senate today confirmed Kevin K. McAleenan to be commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, a role that he has held in an acting capacity since Jan. 20, 2017.

The vote was 77-19, with four GOP senators not present.

McAleenan previously served as deputy commissioner of CBP from Nov. 2, 2014, until his appointment to acting commissioner. In December 2011, he was named acting assistant commissioner of CBP’s Office of Field Operations.

“Congratulations to Kevin McAleenan on his confirmation as Commissioner of @CBP! I look forward to continuing our work together to securing the border and protecting national security while also promoting economic prosperity and facilitating legal trade and travel,” tweeted DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

Senate opponents to McAleenan’s confirmation generally cited the current administration’s border policy as the reason. “Mr. McAleenan & Pres. Trump have prioritized a southern border wall that New Mexicans don’t want or need,” tweeted Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.).

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), though, tweeted that she voted with a bipartisan majority to confirm McAleenan because “an effective CBP is critical to securing the Northern Border, Southern Border, & maritime borders so ND & the nation remain strong & safe.”

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Bridget Johnson is the Managing Editor for Homeland Security Today. A veteran journalist whose news articles and analyses have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe, Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor and a foreign policy writer at The Hill. Previously she was an editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and syndicated nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. Bridget is a senior fellow specializing in terrorism analysis at the Haym Salomon Center. She is a Senior Risk Analyst for Gate 15, a private investigator and a security consultant. She is an NPR on-air contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Observer, National Review Online, Politico, New York Daily News, The Jerusalem Post, The Hill, Washington Times, RealClearWorld and more, and has myriad television and radio credits including Al-Jazeera and SiriusXM.

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