The nomination took on new importance earlier this month when Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced she would be leaving the department, among the government's largest with 240,00 employees, in September to take over as president of the University of California.
Should Mayorkas be approved by the Senate, he almost certainly would lead the department until a permanent replacement for Napolitano is chosen. His promotion also would create a new leadership vacancy in a department already facing a leadership vacuum. With Napolitano's departure, 15 of the department's 45 top positions will either be filled with an acting official or be vacant altogether.
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Associated Press writer Stephen Braun contributed to this report.
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