Former Los Alamitos Mayor Troy Edgar won U.S. Senate confirmation Tuesday to be the chief financial officer of the Department of Homeland Security.
“I feel very honored to be able to be considered by President (Donald) Trump for this position,” Edgar told City News Service. “It’s been quite a journey.”
Edgar got the Trump’s attention when he led an effort on the Los Alamitos City Council to declare legal independence from the state’s Sanctuary State law that restricts local law enforcement cooperation on immigration with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The city lost that fight in the court and voted Monday to settle with the local organization that sued them with help from the American Civil Liberties Union.
“It really started with all the work I had done at Los Alamitos with the anti-Sanctuary State movement in California,” Edgar said of his ascension from associate deputy undersecretary for management in the Department of Homeland Security.
“Through that process, which started a pretty big thing with cities and counties in California, I got an opportunity to meet President Trump and then-Homeland Security (Secretary) Kirstjen Nielsen.
“After meeting them I think the president’s staff looked into my background a little bit and said, hey, you have a lot of corporate experience,” Edgar said.
“I met with them and went through a process both a the White House and DHS and they called and said they’d like to move forward,” Edgar said, adding he was subjected to a four-month background investigation.
The government shutdown at the time slowed his confirmation, Edgar said. It took a year for Edgar to win confirmation from the Senate by a 62-31 vote.
Now Edgar’s task is trying to figure out how to fund COVID-19 efforts with revenue dropping.
“We have agencies that depend on user fees … and with less traffic coming across the border, less flights, less people coming through the immigration process, those fees will come down and have to be dealt with,” Edgar said.
Despite the challenging economy, Edgar said he believes history will be kind to the Trump administration.
“I firmly do believe that 10 years from now when it is put in its proper perspective the story will be interpreted significantly differently… and we will see all of the effects of rebuilding the economy,” Edgar said.
“It’s super exciting to me where America’s new standing in the world order and I’m honored to be a small part of that.”
Edgar credited Trump for his tariff battle with China as well as renegotiating trade deals with Canada and Mexico.
“We’ve seen a lot of previous administrations trying to deal with that, but I never saw anyone take it on as a business person specifically,” Edgar said.
“Honestly, within 20 years or less the world order was going to be changing so somebody had to stand up for a different trajectory. Everyone was so polite and nice before, but it takes someone to stand in the gap and really do what needed to be done.”
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