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Appearing before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on Thursday, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf rejected criticisms from former DHS secretaries Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff.
The former George W. Bush cabinet members had raised concerns over Wolf’s decision to deploy DHS’s agents to Portland in response to protests, saying the agency should not be a president’s “personal militia.” Wolf reiterated his position that they were deployed to protect federal buildings and they did not interfere with peaceful protests. He said he’d spoken to Ridge and Chertoff, and claimed they said they did not know all the facts.
Video has circulated of DHS agents cracking down on protestors with tear gas and placing people in unmarked vehicles, including people who said they were not protesting. Wolf rejected accusations of wrongdoing and said DHS personnel had suffered numerous injuries.
Asked about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Wolf said he stands by the Trump administration’s decision to limit DACA applications and renewals. The Supreme Court blocked the Trump administration’s attempt to end the program and a federal court ordered the government to begin accepting DACA applications again. But Wolf issued a memo blocking new applications and limiting renewals to one year. “”We have ongoing serious concerns about this program,” Wolf said Thursday. The Washington Post, CNN
In other federal immigration news…
Biden Vows to Stop Wall Construction
Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden said on Wednesday he would leave existing fencing along the U.S.–Mexico border but cease construction on a new wall, a signature promise of the Trump presidency. Instead, Biden said would pursue building a virtual wall that implements technology to track and stop border crossers. In an interview that aired on Thursday, Biden said he supports providing vaccination and treatment to undocumented immigrants. He also said he supported giving benefits to people who are paying taxes regardless of immigration status. Dallas Morning News, The Hill
Census Lawsuits Begin
A federal judge on Wednesday heard challenges against the Trump administration’s memo to exclude undocumented immigrants from being counted to determine congressional apportionment. The Washington Post