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  • Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee during his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, USA, 23 September 2020

    Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee during his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, USA, 23 September 2020 | Photo: EFE

Published 11 January 2021
Opinion

Wolf's resignation comes a day before Trump travels to the U.S.-Mexico border near Alamo, Texas, to inspect the erected border wall.

Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Chad Wolf announced his resignation effective Monday at midnight, amid growing concerns about acts of violence during the swearing-in of President-elect Joe Biden next week.

“I am saddened to take this step, as it was my intention to serve the department until the end of this administration,”  Wolf wrote.

"Unfortunately, this action is warranted by recent events, including the ongoing and meritless court rulings regarding the validity of my authority as Acting Secretary. These events and concerns increasingly serve to divert attention and resources away from the important work of the Department in this critical time of a transition of power," he said.

Wolf, whose portfolio is in charge of security at the January 20 acts, is the latest cabinet member to resign after Trump supporters seized the Capitol last Wednesday, following Education Secretaries Betsy DeVos and Transportation, Elaine Chao.

When communicating his resignation to DHS officials, the 45-year-old Republican, very loyal to Trump, did not explicitly mention the assault on Congress's headquarters on Wednesday, which left five dead. 

But on Thursday, he had issued a statement considering what happened "tragic and disgusting" and urging the president to "strongly condemn" the violence.

Wolf has led the DHS since November 2019 on an interim basis, created after the attacks of September 11, 2001, to better coordinate the country's security and migration policy, and has been involved in litigation over immigration measures by the Trump administration.

Trump had officially nominated him for the position in late August 2020, but the Senate never voted to confirm it. Therefore, the courts recently ruled that it is not legitimate and has invalidated its decisions.

When the new Congress was installed on January 3, Trump resubmitted Wolf's candidacy for the Senate, which must be confirmed by members of the Cabinet, but withdrew it hours after Wolf's criticism of the Capitol robbery.

Pete Gaynor, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), would take over as acting secretary, Wolf said in his letter.

Wolf's resignation comes a day before Trump travels to the U.S.-Mexico border near Alamo, Texas, to inspect the erected border wall.

Normally, Wolf would accompany the president on that trip. 

On January 5, Wolf announced in a statement the completion of 450 miles (724 kilometers) of the wall under Trump. 

"President Trump took office promising to build the wall and secure our southern border, a promise he has kept," he said.

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