Tomorrow morning, Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf will appear before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee for his official nomination hearing. There are a litany of reasons why Wolf should be resigning rather than sitting for his nomination hearing – below are 10 reminders:
- Illegally appointed and serving unlawfully. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Wolf, along with Ken Cuccinelli, was unlawfully appointed and is serving unlawfully in his current position. (see here)
- Playing a key role in family separation v1.0 and v2.0: Wolf was a behind-the-scenes player during the systematic separation of thousands of children from their parents earlier in the Trump era – one of the darkest chapters of this or any other presidency. More recently, under Wolf’s acting leadership, DHS and ICE have sought to reinstitute family separation by forcing moms and dads into an impossible choice: either staying together as a family in facilities that endanger their lives or allowing their children to be ripped away and released on their own with uncertain prospects of ever being reunited.
- Openly defying decisions by the Supreme Court and other federal courts regarding the reinstatement of DACA: Instead, Wolf is again gearing up to try to end the popular program and has already announced a series of restrictions. (see here)
- Actively seeking to downplay Russian interference: A highly-placed intelligence official in DHS, Brian Murphy, asserts that “acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf instructed DHS officials earlier this year to ‘cease providing intelligence assessments on the threat of Russian interference’ and, instead, focus their efforts on gathering information related to activities being carried out by China and Iran.” (see CNN article here)
- Personally presided over DHS deployment to Portland: Wolf directed the deployment to Portland, Oregon of DHS agents in unmarked uniforms, who subsequently picked up civilians on the streets and put them into unmarked vans (see here)
- Using cover of COVID to shut off virtually all immigration and asylum to America: Using the pandemic as cover, during Wolf’s acting leadership of DHS, the Trump administration has shut off virtually all immigration and asylum without consulting or going through Congress. (see here)
- Continuing ICE raids during pandemic: This includes taking collateral arrestees and going after people in court houses, churches and hospitals.
- Spreading COVID throughout detention facilities and deporting the virus internationally: During the pandemic, Wolf and DHS have helped spread COVID between detention facilities and internationally by continuing deportation flights – the track record is horrific (see deep dive investigative piece here). Last week, the Washington Post also reported that ICE flew detainees to Virginia so the planes could bring agents to the DC protests following George Floyd’s killing – a huge coronavirus outbreak followed.
- Presiding over deaths, abuse, and dehumanizing horrors in detention facilities: The horrifying allegations of forced hysterectomies at an ICE detention facility in Georgia represents the type of demonization and abuse that must be exposed, repudiated and punished and that has flourished during Wolf’s time at DHS. From ICE facilities lacking rudimentary health care to allegations of sexual abuse to a disturbing pattern of deaths in custody, the entire detention system and their leaders deserve investigation – not promotion or Senate confirmation.
- Facilitating the failing and corrupt border wall. Wolf, like all key Trump officials, has facilitated Trump’s border wall obsession, even going so far as to accompany Trump to Yuma, where he signed the border wall in black sharpie as the pandemic raged all around them. The border wall remains the perfect encapsulation of the Trump presidency – failing, corrupt, narcissistic, offensive, and unpopular.
According to Douglas Rivlin, Director of Communication for America’s Voice:
Chad Wolf is an unlawfully appointed Trump henchman more interested in protecting President Trump and implementing the Trump/Miller anti-immigrant agenda than serving the country. He is a willing and enthusiastic participant in one of the darkest chapters of American governance. Based on a long pattern of evidence, he should be offering his resignation, not testifying at his confirmation hearing.