Chad Wolf uses DHS loophole to cut U.S. asylum and immigration rights

The Trump Timeline

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Yesterday, new DHS Acting Secretary Pete Gaynor gave Chad Wolf authority to approve new regulations and policies, including policies he was unable to push through while serving in Gaynor’s position.

Today, Wolf announces that he has ratified multiple policies, including fast-tracking ICE deportations, raising fees for immigration benefits, restricting access to legal asylum, and limiting work permits for asylum seekers, among others.


On January 8, a court blocked Wolf’s attempt to “basically end” legal asylum in the U.S. on the basis that he didn’t have the authority to impose new rules as acting secretary because he’s in his position illegally.

On January 11, Wolf altered the DHS order of succession so that the FEMA Administrator (Pete Gaynor) is now the “most eligible successor.” Then, Wolf stepped down, giving Gaynor his position.

Wolf stayed at DHS in his previous role as Under Secretary for Strategy, Policy, and Plans. Only 24 hours later, Gaynor authorized Wolf to carry out the policy changes he couldn’t approve before.

Wrong Dates

Wolf accidentally signed his memo about the policy changes with the year 2020, instead of 2021. DHS re-issues the memo later with the date typed in. The date is still wrong; the re-issue is dated January 14 instead of January 13.


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