In picking a successor to John Kelly at the Department of Homeland Security, President Donald Trump has an opportunity to deliver on his signature issue and clean up a sprawling bureaucracy that was politically compromised under Barack Obama.

Kelly took strides toward restoring morale during his brief tenure as DHS secretary. It is imperative to keep the momentum going in the right direction. Voters who elected Trump – and all Americans, for that matter – deserve to see three priorities achieved:

  1. First and foremost, immigration enforcement. This means secure borders and a no-nonsense, consistent approach for deportation.
  2. A commitment to the rule of law. “Sanctuary” cities are the opposite of this, and must be held accountable for obstruction of federal efforts to enforce immigration laws.
  3. Implement policies that serve the national interest, not the pecuniary interests of corporations. American workers and the nation’s security must be the foremost concerns.

Responsible for enforcing immigration laws, Homeland Security also administers a host of guest-worker programs, from high-tech H-1B visas to an array of low- and semi-skilled permits. EB-5 investor visas have been particularly problematic and subject to political abuse under Republican and Democratic administrations alike.

The new DHS boss must stand up to the cheap-labor crowd and partisan grifters who relentlessly seek to expand already unprecedented levels of immigration and gain amnesty for illegal aliens. The new secretary must also maintain Kelly’s attention to  border enforcement, which has resulted in  a sharp decline in illegal crossings this year.

More must be done. Much more. In June, FAIR President Dan Stein derided DHS’s decision to increase guest worker visas – at the behest of Congress — “a betrayal of American workers and the president’s campaign pledges.”

The 2016 election demonstrated that Americans want secure borders. That includes a completed wall along the 2,000-mile Mexican border, per Mr. Trump’s promise. The president’s head of Homeland Security should be focused on that undertaking, not looking for ways around it. The DHS chief will also need a thick skin and an iron will to withstand the slings and tweets of a tempestuous commander in chief.

With global terror threats at our doorstep and at least 13 million persons in the country illegally, there’s no time for on-the-job training or more Obama-style social experiments. Three key agencies under DHS command — Border and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and Immigration and Customs Enforcement – deserve a leader committed to serving the American taxpayers. America deserves nothing less.