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.”