Washington, Nov 2 (IANS) US President Donald Trump has named Chad Wolf as the new Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
When asked by reporters at the White House on Friday if Wolf would be the next DHS Secretary, Trump replied: “I put in a very good man who’s highly respected, and he’s Acting right now. We’ll see where that goes.”
Wolf, the current Deputy Secretary of Strategy, Policies, and Plans of the DHS, will replace Kevin McAleenan, who submitted his resignation to the White House three weeks ago.
He would be the fifth to hold the position since Trump took office.
White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley told reporters that McAleenan would leave following Veterans Day (November 11) after having “done a tremendous job” as acknowledged by the President.
“And after he leaves, Chad Wolf will be the Interim Secretary,” Gidley confirmed.
Wolf, who has 20 years of security experience in both public and private sectors, was a key figure in establishing new security controls at US airports after the September 11, 2001, attacks, according to his DHS biography.
Recently, he had served as Chief of Staff for former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen who resigned in April this year, ending her tumultuous tenure as in charge of the border security agency that had earned her the President’s criticism for poor results in stopping immigration.
McAlleenan came in place of Nielsen after having served as the head of the border patrol.
During McAlleenan’s tenure, the US signed immigration agreements with Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras that, in practice, have limited the right to asylum for Central Americans.
Wolf assumes the position at a time when Trump is pushing his immigration crackdown in the run-up to the 2020 election.
Specifically, in the last 12 months, the number of undocumented immigrants detained at the US border and Mexico grew by 88 per cent over the same period last year and reached close to one million, a record figure since 2007.