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Federal Judge Rules Chad Wolf Likely Illegally Serving as Acting Secretary of DHS

Wolf's predecessor likely didn't have the authority to amend rules letting him become acting DHS secretary, possibly overthrowing asylum rules he implemented

Max Siegelbaum

Sep 16, 2020

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, who has defended the use of unmarked security forces in Portland, Oregon.

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A federal judge in Maryland ruled Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf is likely unlawfully serving in his role. Judge Paula Xinis wrote that two immigration advocacy groups challenging Wolf’s appointment are “likely to demonstrate” acting deputy DHS secretary Ken Cuccinelli’s appointment “was invalid under the agency’s applicable order of succession, and so he lacked the authority to amend the order of succession to ensure Wolf’s installation as Acting Secretary.” She also ruled Wolf did not have authority to impose the asylum rules that were being challenged. The ruling does not mean Wolf has to leave his position. CNN

In other federal immigration news…

DHS OIG Refuses to Investigate Cuccinelli and Wolf Appointments

The Department of Homeland Security inspector general declined to investigate whether acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and his deputy Ken Cuccinelli are legally serving in their roles. DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari cited “troubling aspects” with an August Government Accountability Office report that found they were both appointed in an invalid order of succession. Two federal judges recently ruled that Wolf and Cuccinelli were likely unlawfully serving in their roles. Still, Cuffari concluded “it would be pointless” for the IG to weigh in. CNN 

Biden May Not Be Able to Undo Trump Immigration Policies

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is pledging to dismantle all of the changes Trump has made to the immigration system, but that may not be possible. “I don’t think it’s realistic that Biden in four years could unroll everything that Trump did,” says Sarah Pierce, a policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C. “Because of the intense volume and pace of changes the Trump administration enacted while in office, even if we have a new administration, Trump will continue to have had an impact on immigration for years to come,” Pierce said. The Trump administration has issued more than 400 executive actions on immigration. NPR

Max Siegelbaum

Co-executive Director of Documented




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