New Homeland Security chief has worked across party lines

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — Kirstjen Nielsen’s replacement as Homeland Security secretary was practicing law in California when hijacked jets struck the World Trade Center and Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. That night, he applied for a job with the FBI.

The U.S. Customs Service got to Kevin McAleenan first, and a series of promotions followed that culminated Sunday when President Donald Trump named the University of Chicago-trained lawyer to serve as acting Homeland Security secretary. Trump said on Twitter, “I have confidence that Kevin will do a great job!”

The 47-year-old McAleenan has navigated through Democratic and Republican administrations, avoiding fire-breathing ideological rhetoric and keeping a relatively low profile even as he has played a critical role executing some of Trump’s most controversial policies.

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