Alex Azar Sworn in as New Secretary of Health and Human Services

Melsida Asatrian's picture

After being confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 55-43, Alex Azar was sworn in as the new Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) in a ceremony at the White House on January 29, 2018. You may watch the ceremony, which includes remarks by President Donald Trump and Secretary Azar, below:

We examined Secretary Azar's background in some detail in a post about his nomination in November [see blog].

The HHS plays a limited role in the immigration context. However, it notably includes the Office of Refugee Resettlement [PDF version]. In addition to its role with refugees, the Office of Refugee Resettlement is also responsible for the placement of certain unaccompanied alien children [PDF version].

In addition, the HHS is responsible for setting the federal poverty guidelines, which play a role in the affidavit of support and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) fee waiver contexts [see blog]. The HHS also makes designations that are pertinent for nonimmigrant [e.g., see article] and immigrant physicians [e.g., see article]. Finally, components of the HHS set guidelines that are relevant to overcoming medical grounds of inadmissibility, notably the vaccine requirement [see article].