Jan 29, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Top Trump Homeland Security officials join Heritage

Former Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf raising one hand in a Congressional hearing

Former DHS acting Secretary Chad Wolf. Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Chad Wolf, Ken Cuccinelli and Mark Morgan, three of former President Trump's biggest immigration policy defenders, will join the Heritage Foundation on Monday as fellows, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: All three former Homeland Security officials consistently backed Trump and were key in implementing his strict immigration agenda. Now, they will continue to shape conservative policy ideas on national security and foreign policy from the outside.

  • Wolf was one of the final acting secretaries at DHS under Trump, resigning days before Joe Biden's inauguration. He will work on national security projects, including those relating to China and cybersecurity.
  • Cuccinelli served as the acting deputy secretary, and Morgan, who often lauded Trump’s border wall, led Customs and Border Protection. They will focus on immigration and border security, as well as China-related issues.

Background: With Wolf and Cuccinelli at the helm, DHS implemented sweeping immigration restrictions, sent in federal law enforcement during the Portland Black Lives Matter protests, was the target of a sprawling Russia-backed cyber hack, and faced massive security concerns following the U.S. Capitol siege.

  • Multiple federal courts over the last few months found that Wolf and Cuccinelli were wrongfully appointed to the two top positions at DHS. Wolf cited the rulings when he announced his resignation as secretary, shortly after the attack on the Capitol.

The Heritage Foundation is a powerful, conservative think tank, which was influential in stocking Trump's Cabinet.

What they're saying: "During my time at DHS, Heritage was a strong partner with the Department across a range of issues, to include China, immigration, border security and combating human trafficking and many others that affect our homeland. I am honored and excited to work closely with the talented Heritage team to continue to advance these issues," Wolf told Axios.

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