#2021WCA: U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas detailed how to his department is promoting "international exchange and economic vitality."


  • Alejandro Mayorkas, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security
  • Susan Segal, President and CEO, Americas Society/Council of the Americas

“Rather than viewing borders solely as the lines that mark national boundaries and that divide us from one another, we should see borders as a point of connection, as the place where the flow of people and goods from different countries interact and intersect,” said U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas addressing the 51st Washington Conference on the Americas. He highlighted his department's efforts to ensure a robust and safe movement of goods and people throughout the Western Hemisphere. Mayorkas emphasized that “security in and facilitation of travel and trade are mutually reinforcing activities.

In conversation with AS/COA President and CEO Susan Segal, Mayorkas articulated several initiatives he’s spearheading within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. These include expanding the global entry program, securing trade routes like the Panama Canal, dismantling transnational criminal organizations, and developing cybersecurity protocols. Mayorkas also spoke of his efforts to create an immigration system where people are “treated with dignity and respect.” He said, “This is not inconsistent with enforcing the law and securing our border."