Monday, December 5, 2016

NEXT DHS SECRETARY: McCAUL OR KOBACH ?

President-elect Trump has spent much of the last few weeks vetting potential cabinet members.  Many of the higher profile positons have been named, such as Attorney General (Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Sessions) , Secretary of Defense (Ret. Gen. James Mattis), and UN Ambassador (South Carolina Republican Governor Nikki Haley).  It is expected that he will name a Secretary of State shortly.

The President-elect has not yet tipped his hand on who will be the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.  The DHS secretary positon is important because this positon sets DHS policy interpretations for H-1Bs and other employment-based nonimmigrant visas and employment-based green cards.

Two candidates seem to be leading the race to be Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security: Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Texas Rep. Mike McCaul.  The betting markets have Kobach slightly ahead.  While the betting markets are good indicators, they are not guarantees of future outcomes

Rep. McCaul probably would be the better choice for employment-based immigrants and employers.  In the mid-2000s, Rep. McCaul co-sponsored and supported several bills aimed at increasing the H-1B cap and increase employment-based green cards.  On the other hand, many immigration hardliners favor Kobach

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