Removal, not promotion, for Chad Wolf’s unlawful reign of incompetence and terror.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, the Senate will take up the confirming of Chad Wolf to become the official secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, a ill-deserved promotion for one of Trump’s army of conveniently disposable “acting” heads. Wolf, a man with zero legal or law enforcement training, has already committed two violations of federal law – taking office illegally and overstaying the 210-day term limit for acting officials. 28 days past his own term’s expiration, he chose to ignore Supreme Court and federal court rulings related to DACA recipients. He is also the subject of a whistleblower complaint alleging he manipulated intelligence reports to please President Trump. DHS is a law enforcement entity with the demonstrated power to harm or even kill civilians. It should not be in the hands of a man who has clearly demonstrated disrespect for the judiciary, the laws related to his own office, and human lives.
Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Sen. [___] to vote “NO” on the confirmation of unqualified Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf. Beyond being improperly installed in a position that allows him to indulge his taste for violence, racism and xenophobia, he has ignored court rulings and has already violated the Vacancies Act’s 210-day limit, acting without any legal authority for the last 104 days. Basic regard for law and life should be minimum requirements for the head of DHS.
Contact your senator: https://whoismyrepresentative.com (put in your zip code)
Legal Violation #1 – 210-Day Term limit.
Chad “I-don’t-need-an-invitation-from-Portland” Wolf, our latest “acting” Homeland Security Secretary, has overstayed the maximum 210-day term limit allowed to “Acting” heads of departments under the Vacancies Act (5 § U.S.C. 3346). Wolf was confirmed to his temporary position on Nov. 13, 2019 and his legally allowable term ran out on June 10, 2020. All actions done within the last 104 days since his time was up should be stuffed into the same box Chad uses to pack up his office for the last time.
- This would include the recent request for comments on deporting asylum seekers who originally came from countries experiencing COVID-19 infections and
- Despite not legally occupying his own office for the previous 28 days and with no legal training, he defied the Supreme and federal courts’ orders to return the DACA program to its original condition. Instead, he issued a heartless and xenophobic memo dated July 28, imposing harsh conditions on the approximately 700,000 hardworking and well-educated DACA recipients who live and work in the United States legally under this Obama-era program. They are estimated to contribute $460.3 billion to the U.S. economy over the next decade and 200,000 are essential frontline workers, including nearly 30,000 who work in health care jobs.
Weirdly enough, there was a double violation of term limits in Wolf’s case. University of Michigan law professor Nina Mendelson, an expert on federal vacancies, says that 210-day window was violated even before Wolf was appointed, given that McAleenan served more than 210 days himself as acting secretary. that any actions. We believe that any actions Wolf took after his term expired were illegal and void, and that he should be held personally liable for injuries, death or neglect from June 10th on.
Legal violation #2 – He wasn’t the right man for the job, literally.
“Every bit of the last 18 months of action from DHS is now legally suspect,” said Paul Rosenzweig, a former deputy assistant secretary for policy in the Department of Homeland Security.
On August 14th, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) stated that the entire line of succession after Kristen Neilsen, i.e., Kevin McAleenan (previous Acting Secretary), Chad Wolf (Acting Secretary of Homeland Security), and Ken Cuccinelli (Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security) were illegally installed in their positions through an “invalid order of succession” and are therefore ineligible to serve in their current roles. This is all due to a mistake on Neilsen’s part when she tried to change the order of succession, which comes as no surprise with this malevolent group of keystone cops.
“Michael Chertoff, the second-ever Homeland Security secretary, who served under President George W. Bush, said with likely litigation, “Any direction or order given by the top two officials — that’s going to become a real problem for the department upholding or defending those without authority.”
That may mean that ICE’s contract with GEO to expand their gulags in Adelanto and Mesa Verde for the next 15 years, signed by Wolf on Dec. 19, 2019, just before CA’s SB 32 took effect, could also be null and void.
More on Chad Wolf
Rewriting rules and dodging court orders for DACA recipients isn’t his only project. Before he was so well known, Wolf was an early back-room architect of the inhumane family separation policy under another “acting” Secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen. He’s in the spotlight now, as the head of the agency using paramilitary troops to attack 1st amendment protesters around the country and encouraging unconstitutional “proactive” arrests. Harvard Law Professor Andrew Crespo stated “The person in charge of this newly beefed up, paramilitary federal police force DOES NOT KNOW WHAT AN ARREST IS.”
None of this is a surprise. The man in charge – of the fate of 700,000 DACA recipients, the teargassing of peaceful protesters, ICE and Border Patrol officers who regularly abuse civil rights and liberties, as well as a network of private prisons distinguished by rampant neglect, cruelty, and most recently, by forced sterilization of immigrant detainees, has no legal or law enforcement training or experience.
A history major on a tennis scholarship, Chad was a former lobbyist and TSA official and was considered as an unqualified choice to lead DHS, an agency that hasn’t had a Senate-confirmed leader since Trump took office. Rep. Norma Torres wrote that Wolf wouldn’t have passed the regular Senate confirmation process, and was only confirmed for a lesser undersecretary position. However, his willingness to do anything suggested by Trump’s administration, including incite violence, makes him a useful future fall guy. When questioned by Congress on his role in a crime against humanity by separating children from their parents, “Chad” stated that it wasn’t his job to evaluate the morality of the proposals. “My job wasn’t to determine whether it was the right or wrong policy,” Wolf told members of Congress. Hmmm… That sounds familiar.
Latest – Bizarrely, the man who has had no legal right to be posting on government letterhead for the last 104 days, or perhaps ever, just issued a bizarre “Ratification of Actions,” protesting the GAO’s analysis.
Instead of a promotion, he needs to be removed now. Legislators have already demanded his resignation. (here). Why isn’t Brownley or Carbajal a signer? Call them!
“To Acting Secretary Wolf,
We write to demand your immediate resignation as Acting Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security.
Your leadership of this Department has been rife with mismanagement, including inciting xenophobia and recently using federal agents to disrupt lawful, constitutionally protected protests. In particular, we cannot accept the Department’s recent use of unidentified federal agents, in military gear, patrolling the city ofPortland, Oregon in unmarked vehicles, nor can we accept recent plans to expand this tactic to other American cities.
Since the signing of Executive Order 13933 allowing for the establishment of DHS’s Protecting American Communities Task Force (PACT), we have witnessed horrific scenes of federal agents, under your orders, using force to break up peaceful protests while using police-state tactics to scare citizens and force the people of Portland to submit. Now, as the President’s Administration is planning to send more agents to other major American cities under the false pretenses of “law and order,” you have made clear your willingness to escalate this operation. These actions will only worsen the situation; this has gone far enough.
The right to peaceably assemble and protest is protected by the First Amendment to the US Constitution. Protests have been the cornerstone of change in this country. From the women’s suffrage movement, to civil rights, to anti-war protests during Vietnam and Iraq, people have used this inherently American right to effect change. The people of Portland were protesting police brutality, and you responded to them with further brutality. The language and mindset you have been using treats American citizens as enemy combatants. These are authoritarian tactics that go against the bedrock of our democratic principles.
It is our understanding that you have abused your power and position as Secretary of Homeland Security, especially as you have remained in an acting capacity well beyond the limit designated by federal law. It is for these reasons that we demand that you step down as leader of this department. We ask that you respond to this letter within 72 hours.”
- Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman,
- Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR-03),
- Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01)
- Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20)
- Rep. Jared Huffman (CA-02)
- Rep. Alan Lowenthal (CA-47)
- Rep. Gwen Moore (WI-04)
- Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02)
- Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10)
- Rep. Jamie Raskin (MD-08)
- Rep. Kathleen M. Rice (NY-04)
- Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-09)
- Rep. Albio Sires (NJ-08)
- Rep. Norma J. Torres (CA-35)
- Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07)
Cuchinelli – Why is he still here?
On March 1, federal judge Randolph Moss ruled that Ken Cuccinelli’s appointment to a top immigration position in the Trump administration was unlawful, because the Trump administration gimmicked a fake job category for him to jump the line of succession in front of the “first assistant”. The grift was so egregious, the administration didn’t bother to try an appeal. Judge Moss went on to state that saying several directives issued by Cuccinelli to tighten asylum rules must now be “set aside,” including:
- Reduced-time-to-consult and prohibition-on-extensions directives,” referring to his first directive that shortened the length of time asylum-seekers have to prepare for “credible fear interviews” with officials from 48 or 72 hours to “one full calendar day from the date of arrival at a detention facility.” and
- his prohibition against asylum officers granting extensions to this new policy “except in the most extraordinary of circumstances.”
- He also assumed office on November 12, 2019, so by the 210-day term limit rule, his actions for the last 104 days has been illegal.
Manoj Govindaiah, RAICES Litigation Director, said: “Ken Cuccinelli never actually had authority over USCIS and all of the policies he enacted as acting director — including harsher screening standards at the border and punishment for immigrants who used government health, housing, and food programs — must be struck down immediately. The decision not to pursue this appeal is a significant victory, both for our community suffering from Cuccinelli’s policies and for other advocates hoping to hold the administration in check. The Trump administration has time and again appointed “acting” officials to go around the Senate’s critical confirmation process, an attempt to circumvent its constitutional role. Our suit showed that the administration can be held accountable for such evasions — with real results.”
Anna Gallagher, CLINIC Executive Director, said: “The appointment of Ken Cuccinelli as acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services violated the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, which should, on its own, render the cruel policies he has enacted in his tenure void. This dismissal is a victory, not only for those men, women, and children affected by Cuccinelli’s policies, but for everyone fighting to hold the Trump administration accountable for its actions.”
Resource – Vacancies Reform Act.
The Federal Vacancies Reform Act (FVRA), codified in relevant part at 5 § U.S.C. 3346, provides:
- (a) Except in the case of a vacancy caused by sickness, the person serving as an acting officer as described under section 3345 may serve in the office—
- (1)for no longer than 210 days beginning on the date the vacancy occurs; or
- (2)subject to subsection (b), once a first or second nomination for the office is submitted to the Senate, from the date of such nomination for the period that the nomination is pending in the Senate.
- (1) If the first nomination for the office is rejected by the Senate, withdrawn, or returned to the President by the Senate, the person may continue to serve as the acting officer for no more than 210 days after the date of such rejection, withdrawal, or return
- (2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), if a second nomination for the office is submitted to the Senate after the rejection, withdrawal, or return of the first nomination, the person serving as the acting officer may continue to serve—
- (A) until the second nomination is confirmed; or
- (B) for no more than 210 days after the second nomination is rejected, withdrawn, or returned.
- (c) If a vacancy occurs during an adjournment of the Congress sine die, the 210-day period under subsection
Resource – What is the Department of Homeland Security?
Created after 9/11, as part of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, it is the the body concerned with protecting the United States and the safety of U.S. citizens. The secretary is a member of the president’s Cabinet and is actually 17th on the list of succession, should Barr and 12 equally horrrible cabinet members meet a grisly fate. It oversees the Coast Guard, the Federal Protective Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (which includes the Border Patrol), ICE – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (which includes Homeland Security Investigations), the Secret Service, and FEMA – Federal Emergency Management Agency.