Warning: 2015 won't be an easy year for Sarah Saldaña.
She's stepping into a high-powered role as the new head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, after the Senate confirmed her for the post in a 55-39 vote Tuesday afternoon. Saldaña will helm an agency with funding uncertainty and a mission that Republicans will soon attempt to upend.
In the wake of President Obama's executive action to provide temporary deportation relief and work permits to millions of undocumented immigrants, GOP members have issued repeated threats that, when the new Congress convenes in January, blocking Obama's order will be their top priority. Their decision to fund the Homeland Security Department only through Feb. 27 assures that this fight will come in the next few months.
And in a written response to questions from several Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans, Saldaña—who is the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas—wrote that she believes the president has the legal authority to implement unilateral actions and that she will execute Obama's immigration plan.
Senate Republicans have taken this support of the president and turned it against Saldaña, the first Latina U.S. attorney in Texas history. And it's certain they won't make her job easy.