Things That Matter

This Man Created The Policy To Separate Families And Now He Might Be The Head Of DHS

There is news out of Washington that the White House is strongly looking at the possibility of appointing Chad Wolf, the current acting undersecretary for strategy at the Department of Homeland Security and former chief of staff to then-Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, to head DHS. Wolf is among two other candidates being considered for the position, along with Director of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli and Customs and Border Protection chief Mark Morgan. 

It has become apparent that neither of them would likely get the position. This is due to information from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel that concluded that the two aren’t eligible to take the role because they had yet to serve at least 90 days under the last Senate-confirmed Homeland Security secretary, Nielsen. 

Since Kevin McAleenan announced his resignation over a week ago, becoming the fourth secretary to serve under the Trump administration, there have been many questions about who will fill the role. During McAleenan’s short tenure, which started in April, there were a handful of controversies including a spike in US-Mexico border apprehensions. This in return led to overcrowding and long stays for migrants under US Border Patrol custody at the southern border.

Now with an opening at the head position, Wolf looks to be the front runner as of now but there are many questions and concerns about his track record. 

Who is Chad Wolf and why are so many eyebrows being raised about the possibility of him taking the reins as the head of the Department of Homeland Security?

Credit: @Senjeffmerkley / Twitter

The possible appointment of Wolf has come with some concerns, mainly because of his central role in the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy that led to thousands of children being separated from their parents at the border last year. During his time as acting chief of staff to Secretary Nielsen, Wolf created a list of 16 options that would help deter the number of undocumented immigrants coming to the U.S. border to Gene Hamilton, counselor to then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, to overlook. The second suggestion on that list was the plan to “separate family units.” 

The controversial family separation policy ended after President Trump exercised executive action in June due to mounting backlash over the immigration deterrence plan. Wolf, who was acting chief of staff to Secretary Nielsen when the policy was in place, would later be questioned about that during his Senate confirmation hearing for his current undersecretary role

“My job wasn’t to determine whether it was the right or wrong policy. My job, at the time, was to ensure that the secretary had all the information,” Wolf said at the confirmation. 

While there is some support in the White House to appoint Wolf, there are still some doubts that he can lead the department to the approval of President Trump.

Credit: @MHackman / Twitter

The role of leading DHS is one that comes with a lot of scrutiny, from in and outside the White House. According to NBC News, there is uncertainty among some in the administration that Wolf will be able to lead DHS with the “tough” stance mentality to win over President Trump.

“There’s been no one more committed to the DHS mission and the president’s agenda than Chad, who’s helped implement the policies credited to addressing record levels of illegal crossings at the border,” the senior DHS official told NBC News. “He’s mainly a process guy and played that part to a T as chief of staff to Nielsen,” the official said. “Substantively, he’s an aviation security type with some high-tech related immigration experience. His experience that lines up with [Trump’s] agenda, particularly on border issues, was cobbled together from working for Nielsen.”

Wolf’s beginnings in DHS came at it’s inception shortly after 9/11 when he worked for the Transportation Security Administration and again joined the department after Trump took office in 2016. He has also spent years advocating for “cheap foreign tech workers” as a lobbyist for the National Association of Software and Service Companies, which speaks for Indian and U.S. companies that seek to hire foreign workers with advanced degrees in the H-1B visa program. 

“Going with a career official or someone who once lobbied to replace American workers with cheap foreign labor sends the wrong signal right before an election year,” RJ Hauman, government relations director at the Federation for American Immigration Reform, told Politico. “President Trump can choose to be on the side of his base and American workers, or throw in his lot with the swamp.”

READ: Veteran Sues Police Department After He Called For Help Only To Have Cops Put Him On A Psych Hold

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Here Are The Executive Actions That President Biden Has Signed Since Taking Office Last Week

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Here Are The Executive Actions That President Biden Has Signed Since Taking Office Last Week

Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool / Getty Images

President Joe Biden has a lot of work ahead of him to dismantle some of former President Trump’s damaging orders. There are racist travel bans, necessarily harmful family separation policies, and the climate crisis all on the table that must be addressed. President Biden is doing just that and here are some of the orders he has signed to tackle the issues.

So far, President Biden has signed 40 executive orders that have reversed some of the worst Trump-era policies and regulations.

Update January 27, 2021

President Biden has signed multiple executive orders tackling different parts of the Covid-19 response.

Americans have been struggling to control the pandemic with minimal leadership from the federal government for almost a year. Local, county, and state governments have done their best without a unified federal response. President Biden, who inherited the mess from the previous administration, is tackling the pandemic headon.

President Biden spent his second day signing several Covid executive orders, which include:

  • Promoting Covid-19 safety in domestic and international travel.
  • Expanding access to Covid-19 treatments.
  • Promoting data-driven response to Covid-19.
  • Supporting states’ use of National Guard in Covid-19 response.
  • Strengthening public health supply chain.
  • Establishing the Covid-19 Health Equity Task Force.
  • Supporting the reopening and continuing operation of schools.
  • Promoting workplace safety amid the pandemic.
  • Establishing a Covid-19 pandemic testing board.

On his third day in office, President Biden focused on benefits for the American people.

Covid-19 has decimated the workforce and people are struggling to make ends meet. Evictions are looming nationwide as people have gone months with no assistance from the federal government, a stark contrast from the rest of the developed world.

President Biden is working to undo the issues that have stood in the way of American people getting their assistance with executive orders including:

  • Expanding food assistance programs.
  • Assisting veterans with debt.
  • Guaranteeing unemployment insurance for workers who refuse work due to Covid-19.
  • Establishing “benefit delivery teams.”
  • Facilitating the delivery of stimulus payments.
  • Address Covid-19 economic relief.
  • Empowering federal workers and contractors.

The president signed other orders on the sixth and seventh days of his administration tackling myriad issues.

President Biden promised the American people that he would work quickly to undo the damage created by the last four years. It is a promise that he has made good on. He has tackled several societal issues that has hindered Americans from living free and full lives.

President Biden’s executive actions here included:

  • Reversing the transgender military ban.
  • Reinstating Covid-19 travel restrictions.
  • Promoting the ‘Buy American’ agenda.
  • Calling for the evaluation of Trump’s housing policies.
  • Ending the reliance on private prisons.
  • Reaffirming the commitment to tribal sovereignty.
  • Denouncing anti-Asian discrimination and xenophobia.

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The border wall on the southern border is done, y’all.

President Biden is saving the taxpayers billions of dollars by halting the construction of President Trump’s border wall. The border wall is one of former President Trump’s several unfulfilled promises at the expense of the taxpayers.

Despite his unrelenting campaign, Mexico never paid a dime to the wall. President Biden’s action to halt the border wall is a humanitarian and conservationist move that will save billions of tax dollars. According to estimates, there would be $3.3 billion in unused funds in the projects accounts.

The emotionally devastating Muslim ban will finally come to an end.

Former President Trump famously put an end to travel from predominantly Muslim countries. The order arbitrarily excluded a group of people based on their religion. The order that has kept families apart for years is finally coming to an end thanks to President Biden.

President Biden’s ation will bring families together and safeguards the rights of religious freedom. The ban has kept spouses separated, children apart from parents, and caused real damage. There is more to be done to make up for the stain on American history and the action is the first step.

The Keystone XL Pipeline is toast.

We all remember the terrifying scenes of Native people being brutalized by federal officials under Trump’s command. President Biden will make sure that the permit for the pipeline is revoked and put an end to a project that has been devastating the Native community. Activists have been fighting for years to get this done.

Undocumented people will have to be included in census counts.

President Biden is getting rid of the Trump administration’s terrible policy of ignoring undocumented people in the census. There have been several arguments by officials that the move would work to undermine certain states. The policy would take federal money away from states that did not support the former president and have high undocumented populations.

President Biden is going to preserve DACA.

More than 600,000 people benefit from the Obama-era program. Former President Trump waged a war against DACA and Dreamers for political points. Most Americans support DACA and a pathway to citizenship for DACA beneficiaries. With the new executive action, President Biden will instruct the federal government to restore the program to its fullest.

There is still a lawsuit the Biden administration will have to fight. The lawsuit challenging DACA’s legality was filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

In total, President Biden will sign 17 executive actions that will roll back several issues created by the previous administration.

“Today, hours after taking the oath of office, President-elect Biden will take a historic number of actions to deliver immediate relief for families across America that are struggling in the face of converging crises. He will sign a combination of executive orders, memoranda, directives, and letters to take initial steps to address these crises, including by changing the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing economic relief, tackling climate change, and advancing racial equity,” reads a statement from the Biden-Harris Transition Team. “President-elect Biden will take action — not just to reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration — but also to start moving our country forward. These actions are bold, begin the work of following through on President-elect Biden’s promises to the American people, and, importantly, fall within the constitutional role for the president.”

READ: President Joe Biden’s And Vice President Kamala Harris’ Inauguration Represented America

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Google Is Pledging $250K To Help With DACA Applications And Renewals

Things That Matter

Google Is Pledging $250K To Help With DACA Applications And Renewals

SANDY HUFFAKER / AFP via Getty Images

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is not a contentious topic among Americans. The program offers young adults who entered the U.S. as children relief from deportation and a chance to live out of the shadows. Now that it has been reinstated, Google wants to help some people achieve the dream of being a DACA recipient.

Google is pledging a quarter of a million dollars to help people apply for DACA.

The Trump administration did everything in their power to end DACA. The constant uncertainty has left hundreds of thousands of young people in limbo. The war waged against Dreamers by the Trump administration came to a temporary end when a federal judge ruled that Chad Wolf was illegally installed as the head of the Department of Homeland Security. It invalidated a member from Wolf stating that no new DACA applications would be approved.

Kent Walker, the SVP of Global Affairs, laid out the case for DACA in an essay.

Walker discusses the uncertainty the hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients currently face after the tumultuous time for the program. He also touches on the economic hardships that has befallen so many because of the pandemic. With so many people out of work, some Dreamers do not have the money to apply or renew their DACA due to a lack of financial resources. For that reason, Google is getting involved.

“We want to do our part, so Google.org is making a $250,000 grant to United We Dream to cover the DACA application fees of over 500 Dreamers,” writes Walker. “This grant builds on over $35 million in support that Google.org and Google employees have contributed over the years to support immigrants and refugees worldwide, including more than $1 million from Googlers and Google.org specifically supporting DACA and domestic immigration efforts through employee giving campaigns led by HOLA (Google’s Latino Employee Resource Group).”

People are celebrating Google for their decision but are calling on Congress to do more.

Congress will ultimately have to decide on what to do for the Dreamers. There has been growing pressure from both sides of the aisle calling on Congress to work towards granting them citizenship. DACA is a risk of being dismantled at any moment. It is up to Congress to come through and deliver a bill to fix the issue once and for all.

“We know this is only a temporary solution. We need legislation that not only protects Dreamers, but also delivers other much-needed reforms,” writes Walker. “We will support efforts by the new Congress and incoming Administration to pass comprehensive immigration reform that improves employment-based visa programs that enhance American competitiveness, gives greater assurance to immigrant workers and employers, and promotes better and more humane immigration processing and border security practices.”

READ: New DACA Applications Were Processed At The End Of 2020 For The First Time In Years

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