Jeh Johnson, new Secretary of Dept. of Homeland Security, is from New Jersey

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A native of Montclair, New Jersey, Jeh Johnson was recently sworn in as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. The former top lawyer of the Defense Department, who worked on U.S. drone policies and the Pentagon’s ban on gays in the military, said offering a path to citizenship would encourage the 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. without documentation to “come out of the shadows, be accountable, and participate in the American experience.” He said the majority of these immigrants have been here more than 10 years, and that offering them a path to citizenship is “a matter of who we are as Americans.”

He also indicated, in a letter responding to questions from Senator Richard Durbin, that “immigration enforcement resources must first be focused on those who pose a threat to our national security, public safety, and the integrity of our borders.” He has pledged to visit immigrant detention centers and review whether current practice on matters such the use of solitary confinement, access to lawyers and social services, and access to affordable phone calls follow current DHS and ICE standards.

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