Trump Taps Chad Wolf As DHS Acting Secretary

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter
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President Donald Trump named Chad Wolf as the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Friday, replacing Kevin McAleenan.

“I put in a very good man who’s highly respected, and [Wolf’s] acting right now and we’ll see where that goes,” Trump told reporters.

Wolf touts a comprehensive resume within DHS. He previously served as chief of staff to former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. Trump nominated Wolf in February to be the first undersecretary of the DHS Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans — a position he has since held on an acting basis.

Wolf joined the Transportation Security Administration — an agency within DHS — shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and served as the assistant administrator of transportation security policy. Beyond his career within the federal government, he also worked as a lobbyist and a consultant for more than 10 years.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and Chad Wolf arrive for the State Dinner in honor of French President Emmanuel Macron at the White House in Washington

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and Chad Wolf arrive for the State Dinner in honor of French President Emmanuel Macron at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 24, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Administration insiders have been supportive of Wolf’s nomination.

“As the president’s nominee to serve as DHS’s first Undersecretary of Policy, Chad is a proven leader consistently recognized for a savvy, solutions-oriented approach in navigating some of the most complex security challenges that department has faced,” a senior administration official said in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation in October.

“There’s been no one more committed to the DHS mission and the president’s agenda than Chad, who’s helped oversee the policies and international agreements leading to the dramatic decrease in illegal immigration at the border we see today,” the official continued.

Many within DHS support Wolf; however, some immigration hardliners have expressed trepidation over his past work as a lobbyist. Wolf previously represented the National Association of Software and Service Companies, advocating for the preservation of the H-1B visa program for foreign workers. (RELATED: Trump Administration Extends Temporary Protected Status To Salvadorans Living In The US)

Wolf’s promotion marks the end of McAleenan’s tenure atop the department. Previously the commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, McAleenan was chosen in April to lead DHS amid Nielsen’s resignation. McAleenan served for roughly six months before announcing his own departure.

During his time leading DHS, McAleenan oversaw a major reduction in the flow of illegal aliens appearing before the southern border, secured asylum deals with all three of the Northern Triangle countries and expanded Migrant Protection Protocols across the border.

Like his predecessor, Wolf is expected to continue working to secure the U.S.-Mexico border and stemming the current illegal immigration crisis.

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