Nov 13, 2019

Chad Wolf clears hurdle toward acting Homeland Security chief

Chairman Lindsey Graham speaks during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The Senate confirmed Chad Wolf to become undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans on Wednesday in a bipartisan vote of 54-41.

Why it matters: Wolf has been serving in the position in an acting capacity. President Trump has indicated Wolf will be the next acting DHS secretary — confirmation to Wolf's current role is the first step in making that happen.

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Chad Wolf sworn in as acting DHS secretary

Photo: Alastair Pike/AFP via Getty Images

Chad Wolf is now the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, the Washington Post's Nick Miroff reports. He was sworn in the same day he was confirmed by the Senate to an undersecretary position.

Why it matters: Wolf is the fifth person to lead DHS under Trump, replacing Kevin McAleenan whose resignation was announced almost five weeks ago. Some hardliners have questioned his commitment to the president's immigration agenda. Wolf is expected to elevate Ken Cuccinelli — a conservative favorite serving as acting director of Citizenship and Immigration Services — to the second highest position in the agency, CNN and the Wall Street Journal reported.

Keep ReadingArrowUpdated Nov 13, 2019

House Democrats challenge legality of Wolf, Cuccinelli jobs at DHS

Ken Cuccinelli of the Department of Homeland Security testifies during a House Oversight subcommittee last month. (Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Democratic lawmakers are disputing the legality of Chad Wolf's appointment as acting Homeland Security secretary and immigration hardliner Ken Cuccinelli as his deputy, asking the U.S. Comptroller General for an expedited review. 

Why it matters: If the argument set forth by two House committee chairs on Friday prevails, it could give Democrats a path to try to block the ascension of Cuccinelli, or more broadly to seek to invalidate months of agency actions.

Go deeperArrowNov 15, 2019

U.S. sends first Honduran asylum seeker sent to Guatemala

Dozens of people seen waiting to enter the U.S. on the Northern side of the International Bridge over the Rio Grande, in Matamoros, Tamaulipas state, Mexico. Photo: LEXIE HARRISON-CRIPPS/AFP via Getty Images

The first Honduran migrant was sent to Guatemala on Thursday to pursue his asylum case, the AP reports, kicking off a "landmark" Trump administration policy.

Flashback: Guatemala signed a "safe third country" agreement in July, agreeing to take in more Central American asylum seekers in an effort to slow migration in the U.S. The policy mostly impacts immigrants from Honduras and El Salvador whose routes to the U.S. go through Guatemala. Thousands of Guatemalans left the country last year to seek asylum in the U.S., Al Jazeera notes.

Go deeperArrowNov 22, 2019