Chad Wolf will be the new interim secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Ken Cuccinelli will be his deputy, an announcement that was well received by supporters of ‘strong borders.’
Wolf was sworn in Nov. 13 as undersecretary of the Office of Strategy, Policy and Plans (PLCY)—a position needed to take over as interim head of—with a bipartisan vote in the Senate and thus became the agency’s fifth leader in three years.
“Undersecretary Wolf has served at the Department in various senior leadership positions since its inception and he brings more than 20 years of experience in the government and private sector to the position,” the DHS statement notes. The official will replace Kevin McAleenan, whose resignation was announced by President Trump on Oct. 11.
“I want to thank the president for nominating me to this critical position and for the U.S. Senate for taking action,” Wolf noted in the text released by DHS.
“I am continually inspired by the tireless and exemplary work of the men and women of the Office of Policy in support of the Department’s mission,” he added.
Who Chad Wolf is and what to expect at DHS
Wolf was nominated by President Trump last Nov. 1 and was head of the DHS cabinet undersecretary Kirstjen Nielsen until his resignation in April.
Wolf’s predecessor, McAleenan, resigned in October of this year saying he wanted to spend more time with his family. The former official was praised by President Donald Trump himself for doing an “outstanding job” as acting secretary of the Department Homeland Security (DHS).
The latest changes in DHS come after President Trump made illegal immigration an indispensable part of his political platform for re-election in 2020.
“I’ve had the privilege of working with Chad for more than two years and know his experience in multiple roles at DHS will be invaluable when confronting the homeland security challenges the department will face,” McAleenan said in a Nov. 2 statement.
“Chad understands what it takes to run a vast enterprise such as the department. He is a proven, thoughtful, and principled executive and I am confident he will serve the president and the American people well as acting secretary,” he added.
The new acting secretary takes office at a time when the influx of migrants and refugees from Central America has declined, but continues to set records compared to previous years.
“I am confident Chad will carry on the important progress we have made,” McAleenan said in the text.
In that sense, according to a Fox News report, supporters of ‘strong borders’ welcome Cuccinelli’s appointment to the department.
Cuccinelli had so far served as interim director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and is “one of the most vocal hard-liners within the administration,” Fox News reported.
“Ken Cuccinelli has been a constant and vocal advocate for the men and women of the department who are protecting our borders and restoring integrity to our immigration system,” Wolf wrote in an email to Fox.
“As Virginia’s attorney general he led the state in its fight against human trafficking and record enforcement against gangs, fraud and child predators,” he said.
As interim director of USCIS, Cuccinelli had pushed a series of tough measures against illegal immigration.
In fact, Wolf’s appointment came when the Trump administration won a series of victories in the fight against the immigration crisis on the southern border.
According to a Fox report, border detentions have fallen by more than 65 percent since May as a result of tougher asylum policies, the construction of infrastructure on the border, and the signing of several agreements with countries like Mexico and El Salvador to contain migratory flows.
Along these lines, some members of the Trump administration, for their part, had previously welcomed Wolf’s appointment.
“He’s widely recognized as a trusted, committed and aggressive leader, credited with helping implement the policies developed to address the border crisis,” a senior official told Fox News last month.
“His expertise is wrapped around the entire department and its many issue areas, from counterterrorism to election security. Hands down the most qualified,” he added.