Department of Homeland Security Chief of Staff Karen Olick resigns


Department of Homeland Security Chief of Staff Karen Olick resigns as department grapples with migrant crisis at southern border and an influx of 100K Afghan refugees

  • Karen Olick announced Monday she would be leaving for an undisclosed opportunity
  • Jennifer Higgins, who works in USCIS, will step in as temporary chief of staff
  • Olick’s replacement is a career civil servant who has worked in federal government for nearly 20 years, while Olick came from SKDK










Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ chief of staff has submitted her resignation, as DHS works to tackle a migrant crisis at the southern border and a sudden influx of tens of thousands of Afghan refugees. 

Karen Olick announced Monday she would be leaving for an undisclosed opportunity, according to Politico. 

Jennifer Higgins, the current associate director of Refugee, Asylum and International Operations at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, will step in as temporary chief of staff after Olick leaves at the end of the month. 

Mayorkas told DHS officials in an email Olick ‘has decided to resign her position and pursue new opportunities. We are grateful to Karen for her service during the critical first nine months of the new Administration.’

DHS is in the midst of not only helping to vet tens of thousands of Afghan refugees who were evacuated out of Kabul last month and handling an unprecedented flow of migrants at the southern border but also taking the lead on responding to the impacts of Hurricane Ida. 

Karen Olick, above, chief of staff for DHS Sec. Mayorkas,  announced Monday she would be leaving for an undisclosed opportunity

Karen Olick, above, chief of staff for DHS Sec. Mayorkas,  announced Monday she would be leaving for an undisclosed opportunity

Jennifer Higgins, above, the current associate director of Refugee, Asylum and International Operations at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, will step in as temporary chief of staff after Olick leaves at the end of the month

Jennifer Higgins, above, the current associate director of Refugee, Asylum and International Operations at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, will step in as temporary chief of staff after Olick leaves at the end of the month

Olick, in a farewell note, told her coworkers: ‘Though too often underappreciated by our fellow citizens, I am continually struck by how many millions of Americans sleep in safety every night because so many at DHS do not sleep.’ 

Olick’s replacement is a career civil servant who has worked in federal government for nearly 20 years, while Olick came from SKDK, a prominent Democratic strategic communications firm. She recently led the firm’s ballot initiative practice, according to Politico. 

Afghan refugees line up for food in a dining hall at Fort Bliss' Doña Ana Village, in New Mexico, where they are being housed, Friday, Sept. 10

Afghan refugees line up for food in a dining hall at Fort Bliss’ Doña Ana Village, in New Mexico, where they are being housed, Friday, Sept. 10

Dozens of people, part of the fourth caravan of Central American migrants, start their way from the city of Tapachula, in the state of Chiapas, Mexico, 04 September

Dozens of people, part of the fourth caravan of Central American migrants, start their way from the city of Tapachula, in the state of Chiapas, Mexico, 04 September

The number of apprehensions at the southern border hit a 21-year high in July, where Customs and Border Protection (CBP) encountered more than 212,000 migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The figures bring Biden toward the 1 million mark as the encounter count hits 934,257 when counting the data between February and July. 

Leaked audio from last month revealed Mayorkas saying the border crisis is ‘unsustainable’ and ‘we’re going to lose.’

‘If our borders are the first line of defense, we’re going to lose, and this is unsustainable,’ he said in audio obtained by Fox News. 

‘We can’t continue like this, our people in the field can’t continue and our system isn’t built for it.’ 

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