Trump Wanted Cuccinelli as DHS Secretary, Senate’s Reluctance Led to Appointment of Chad Wolf
This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Laura Danielson is an active member.
Though Donald Trump initially expressed support for Ken Cuccinelli, current acting director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to take over as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the legitimacy of Cuccinelli’s appointment as acting director has come under fire, as federal vacancy laws prohibited him from taking that position. Those laws also prevented him from the position Trump wanted him to hold. Trump acquiesced to these pressures, pivoting from his primary candidate to appoint Chad Wolf, current acting DHS undersecretary for strategy, policy and plans.
Wolf’s history suggests his appointment may be beneficial for pro-immigration efforts, having lobbied for improved H-1B laws at a previous position he held. Wolf still faces Senate confirmation before taking over, and the current order of succession in place at DHS would also have to be altered since other positions are in line for appointment as secretary before the undersecretary for strategy, policy and plans.