Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas visits Miami-Dade County

MIAMI – Alejandro N. Mayorkas, the first Cuban American to serve as U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, visited Miami-Dade County on Thursday. He and his team had meetings with local community leaders from Haiti, Cuba, Colombia, and Venezuela.

Mayorkas was traveling with Juan Gonzalez, the special assistant to the president and the senior director for the western hemisphere of the National Security Council, and Mark Feierstein, the U.S. Agency for International Development principal advisor.

Mayorkas announced his trip’s itinerary days before the 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti. He had already scheduled a meeting with members of the “Haitian-American diaspora” to discuss the “political crisis” and “U.S. efforts to support the Haitian people.”

Mayorkas visited Notre Dame d’Haiti Catholic Church in Miami’s Little Haiti and met with Rep. Frederica Wilson to talk about the “steadfast commitment” and “diligent work” to help Haitians recover “from back-to-back severe political and natural disaster crises,” according to a statement DHS released Thursday night.

Mayorkas, who was born in Havana, also visited the Our Lady of Charity National Shrine, a Catholic church of great significance to the Cuban diaspora. He met with a group of activists including Emilio Estefan, Yotuel Omar Manzanares Romero, and Rosa Maria Paya, the daughter of the late Cuban activist Oswaldo Payá.

In the afternoon, Mayorcas met with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, and a group of first responders in Surfside. He delivered flowers in honor of the nearly 100 victims of the June 24th building collapse.

At Miami International Airport, Mayorkas met a group of officers from the Transportation Security Administration and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Gonzalez and Feierstein met with Florida Sen. Annette Taddeo and a group of Colombian and Venezuelan community leaders.

To read the Spanish version of this story, click here.

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About the Authors:

Christian De La Rosa joined Local 10 News in April 2017 after spending time as a reporter and anchor in Atlanta, San Diego, Orlando and Panama City Beach.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.