Former U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson said Tuesday that he will not serve in President-elect Joe Biden’s administration, according to Reuters.
“I will not be in the Biden administration,” Johnson told Reuters in an email. Johnson had been considered for a variety of Cabinet positions, including secretary of defense and attorney general, according to the report. Retired General Lloyd Austin was nominated for the role of secretary of defense and the position of attorney general has not yet been filled. (RELATED: Progressives Are Not Happy With President-Elect Joe Biden’s Likely Secretary Of Defense Pick, Michele Flournoy)
Johnson referred to “the news over the last 24 hours” when asked why he would not serve in the administration. The news of Austin’s nomination was first reported Monday.
— The Hill (@thehill) December 10, 2020
Johnson served as general counsel of the Air Force during the Clinton administration, Department of Defense general counsel during the early years of the Obama administration, and served as DHS Secretary from 2013 – 2017. He also works as an attorney in private practice.
Progressives criticized Johnson for pushing to expand the detention of migrant families after illegal immigration from Central America surged in 2014, Reuters reported. Johnson was hoping that the detentions would work to deter illegal immigration. (RELATED: ‘Way Too Far To The Left’: Obama’s Homeland Security Secretary Skewers Democrats On Immigration)
While Johnson was serving as DHS Secretary, the Obama administration attempted to implement a program that would give millions of illegal immigrants work permits and protection from deportation, according to the report. A federal appeals court eventually blocked the sweeping program.