Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson revealed Tuesday that he will not join the Biden administration in January.
Johnson, 63, was at the top of a short list of candidates for defense secretary or attorney general, which heads the Justice Department. President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team announced this week that retired Gen. Lloyd Austin will be nominated to oversee the Pentagon. The incoming Democratic administration has not revealed who will be the government’s top attorney.
“I will not be in the Biden administration,” Johnson told Reuters reporter Ted Hesson.
Johnson was tapped by President Obama in 2013 to head DHS for four years, including during the implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in 2014. The executive action allowed illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children to apply for protections for deportations and work permits after Congress failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform in 2013.
During Johnson’s tenure at DHS, he detained a greater number of immigrant families who had been taken into custody at the U.S.-Mexico border. The move was meant to deter more migrants from traveling to the United States, but angered immigrant advocates.