Sept. 14 (UPI) — Karen Olick, chief of staff to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, announced Monday that she will resign, citing an undisclosed opportunity.
Jennifer Higgins, associate director of Refugee, Asylum and International Operations at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, will temporarily take on the role until a new appointment is made, DHS officials told Politico and CNN.
In an email to staff, Mayorkas said Olick “has decided to resign her position and pursue new opportunities” and will depart the agency at the end of the month.
“We are grateful to Karen for her service during the critical first nine months of the new administration,” said Mayorkas.
In a farewell note, Olick remarked on how she was impressed by the agency’s impact.
“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,” she wrote.
The departure comes as the agency faces a high number of migrant apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border and an expected influx of Afghan refugees.
The administration is anticipating the arrival of 65,000 Afghan refugees by September and another 30,000 within the next 12 months.