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Few who’ve led the Department of Homeland Security have confirmed hard-line sufficient for President Trump and his staff on immigration coverage. But that would change with Chad Wolf.
The White House is leaning towards tapping Wolf, who presently oversees the company’s coverage division, to be its subsequent chief, two sources at DHS instructed VICE News. He was an early supporter of the administration’s household separation technique and has labored on the company nearly so long as Trump has been in workplace.
But it’s unclear if the White House has formally instructed Wolf that he’s being nominated for the job.
Homeland safety officers are scrambling to react to the string of media reviews about Trump’s plans to appoint Wolf, in response to one supply. Some even came upon by way of these reviews.
Spokespeople for DHS and the White House didn’t instantly reply to VICE News’ requests for remark.
DHS has cycled by way of 4 chiefs in lower than three years, and every of its leaders discovered themselves at odds with Trump and his aides. Wolf would develop into the company’s fifth director and take over from Kevin McAleenan, who oversaw DHS on a brief foundation for solely about six months.
The departures have come at a delicate time, because the Trump administration continues to construct miles of fencing alongside the U.S.-Mexico border and upends DHS’s asylum-seeking course of.
And McAleenan’s slow-roll out the door has added to the confusion on the company, in response to sources. On October 11, President Trump introduced on Twitter that McAleenan could be leaving the company, however he’s continued to serve for the final three weeks since that announcement.
Wolf, who joined the company in January of 2017, has labored for a lot of departments. In addition to holding a submit on the Transportation Security Administration, he additionally served as chief of employees to former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who departed in April after a collection of disagreements with the Trump administration, together with launching mass arrests of immigrant households.
While it appears that evidently no DHS chief has been hawkish sufficient for President Trump’s style, Wolf — who as soon as labored as a lobbyist selling employment visas — has confirmed himself an ally of Trump’s on a number of key points.
Wolf’s previous proposals
In December 2017, Wolf instructed to the workplace of then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions that “separat[ing] family units” might assist cease the movement of undocumented immigrants to the U.S., NBC News reported final month.
“Announce that DHS is considering separating family units, placing the adults in detention and placing minors under the age of 18 in the custody of [Health and Human Services] as unaccompanied alien children,” Wolf reportedly wrote within the e mail.
That proposal was simply one in every of 16 that Wolf despatched to the workplace, per NBC. The White House has since introduced one other of Wolf’s proposals, which might require immigrants looking for asylum to use in Mexico, as a substitute of acquiring shelter within the U.S.
But amongst immigration officers, Wolf is taken into account extra palatable than the 2 different males Trump thought of for the job, sources at DHS instructed VICE News.
Trump reportedly wished to faucet both Ken Cuccinelli, the appearing head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or Mark Morgan, the appearing commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, for the submit. Even by the Trump administration’s requirements, Cuccinelli and Morgan are thought of among the many most politically excessive.
But Wolf faces the identical issues Cuccinelli and Morgan do: Neither have been confirmed by the Senate for their present positions. And succession guidelines for federal businesses forestall unconfirmed nominees from ascending to an appearing director place.
The Senate must affirm Wolf in his present function because the Acting Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Strategy, Policy, and Plans earlier than Trump might nominate him to steer the company.
The president by no means even nominated Wolf’s predecessor, McAleenan, for Senate affirmation.
In a surprisingly candid interview earlier this month, McAleenan additionally instructed the Washington Post that he was uncomfortable with the truth that Trump typically wielded DHS — ostensibly a impartial regulation enforcement company — as a partisan software to advertise his personal immigration coverage.
“What I don’t have control over is the tone, the message, the public face and approach of the department in an increasingly polarized time,” McAleenan instructed the Post. “That’s uncomfortable, as the accountable, senior figure.”
Cover picture: Department of Homeland Security Under Secretary Chad Wolf speaks throughout a gathering of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (PITF), within the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, on the White House complicated, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)