September Cover Story by Caitlin Dickerson Exposes Secret History of Trump Administration’s Family-Separation Policy
Reporting shows that separating children from their parents was not an unintended side effect of the policy, as the government claimed, but the intent; the worst outcomes were anticipated and ignored; the architects of the legislation will likely seek to reinstate it, should they return to power.theatlantic.com
Trump launches lie-filled attack on Ilhan Omar calling on her to apologize for 'abandoning her former country' Somalia, which she fled as a young girl
The former president's xenophobic and anti-refugee missive comes after Lauren Boebert called Omar to "apologize" for her Islamophobic comments.news.yahoo.com
Prosecutors seek 5-year prison term for former neo-Nazi group leader from Texas
Federal prosecutors in Virginia are seeking a five-year prison sentence for a former neo-Nazi group leader who pleaded guilty to conspiring with other far-right extremists to threaten dozens of targets, including a predominantly African American church, a sitting U.S. Cabinet member and journalists.
Trump Homeland Security chief abruptly quits at tense time
FILE - In this Sept. 23, 2020, file photo, 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. (Shawn Thew/Pool via AP)WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s acting head of the Department of Homeland Security abruptly resigned Monday, leaving the post ahead of schedule as the nation faces a heightened terrorism threat from extremists seeking to reverse the election. The announcement by acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf was perplexing. Peter Gaynor, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will serve as acting head of the Department of Homeland Security until the Biden administration takes over. Trump appointed Wolf acting secretary in November 2019, following the resignation of Kevin McAleenan, the acting secretary who took over following the resignation of Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
Judge: DHS head didn’t have authority to suspend DACA
FILE - In this Sept. 23, 2020, file photo, Department of Homeland Security acting Secretary Chad Wolf makes an opening statement at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. On Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, a federal judge in New York ruled that Wolf assumed his position unlawfully, a determination that invalidated Wolf's suspension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shields young people from deportation. “DHS failed to follow the order of succession as it was lawfully designated,” U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis wrote. In Garaufis' ruling Saturday, the judge wrote that DHS didn't follow an order of succession established when then-Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned in April 2019. DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the ruling.
Report: US turning away asylum-seekers at border is flawed
A published report says former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen ordered officers to stop people from stepping on U.S. soil at official crossings with Mexico to claim asylum when she was U.S. The internal watchdog said U.S. Customs and Border Protection had unused detention space at two crossings that could have been used to process asylum-seekers. At the time, CBP was turning away people at official crossings, though Nielsen disputed those reports. The inspector general says that CBP, without public notice, stopped processing asylum-seekers at seven of 24 southern border crossings, all of them in the San Diego and Laredo, Texas, field offices. Agents at four border crossings — three in the San Diego field office and one in Nogales, Arizona — turned back asylum-seekers who were on U.S. soil but had not yet cleared inspection.
Former DHS official says he wrote 'Anonymous' Trump critique
This March 27, 2018, provided by the Department of Homeland Security, then-Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and then-Department of Homeland Security chief of staff Miles Taylor, right, meet with Honduran President Juan Hernandez, not pictured, and security ministers from the Northern Triangle countries in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Taylor, a former Trump administration official who penned a scathing anti-Trump op-ed and book under the pen name Anonymous made his identify public Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. (Tim Godbee/Department of Homeland Security via AP)
Judge blocks big fee hikes for citizenship, other benefits
SAN DIEGO – A federal judge on Tuesday halted major fee increases for citizenship and other immigration benefits three days before they were to take effect, saying the last two chiefs of the Homeland Security Department were likely appointed illegally. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White found Kevin McAleenan was improperly catapulted to acting secretary when Kirstjen Nielsen resigned in April 2019. Chad Wolf, who became acting secretary after McAleenan resigned in November 2019, was also promoted out of order from his position as under secretary for strategy, policy and plans. The Homeland Security and Justice departments did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday night. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency responsible for awarding citizenship, green cards and temporary work permits.
It's 'now or never' for ex-Trump aides weighing speaking out
“People need to understand how dangerous a moment we are in.”There are plenty of others weighing the same decision. But Mattis and Coats, like former White House chief of staff John Kelly and former national security adviser H.R. The White House punched back with an aggressive attack campaign aimed at discrediting her through a barrage of statements, interviews and denunciations from the lectern in the White House briefing room. “The White House knows if they show this is a very costly thing to do they will scare people from going forward," he said. He added that while more people are still considering coming forward, the White House tactics have worked to some extent — dissuading one senior official who had been on the cusp of speaking out.
Whistleblower's claims on Russian interference fits pattern
Russian President Vladimir Putin "is not deterred,” said Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes, a Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee. Senior Trump administration officials have been eager to focus more on China in discussing election interference, asserting that Beijing is the more potent danger. Trump's stance on Russian interference, including publicly questioning intelligence agencies' assessment at a Helsinki news conference with Putin, has colored his relationship with spy chiefs. Also Thursday, the Trump administration Justice Department charged a Russian national in a plot to sow discord in the U.S. Himes, the House Intelligence Committee member, said he was concerned heading into the Nov. 3 election about intelligence being twisted for political reasons.
Confirmation gets trickier for Trump Homeland Security pick
WASHINGTON – A whistleblower's complaint and a tight timeline are making it increasingly unlikely that the Senate will confirm Chad Wolf as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security before the election. President Donald Trump formally sent the nomination late Thursday to the Senate after announcing his intention to appoint Wolf in a tweet last month. But the full Senate is unlikely to hold a confirmation vote before the election, said two Republican aides granted anonymity to discuss private deliberations. Trump appointed Wolf acting secretary in November 2019, following the resignation of Kevin McAleenan, the acting secretary who took over following the resignation of Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. “Their toxic and unethical actions are wholly incompatible with the non-partisan mission of the Department of Homeland Security,” he said.
Official claims pressure to alter Homeland Security intel
Brian Murphy says in a whistle-blower complaint filed with the agency's inspector general that he was demoted for refusing to alter his intelligence reports in an illegal and improper" manner. The former FBI agent and Marine Corps veteran had served as principal deputy under secretary in the Office of Intelligence and Analysis. In August, he was demoted to assistant to the deputy under secretary for DHS Management. A copy of the complaint was released Wednesday by Rep. Adam Schiff of the House Intelligence Committee. DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment by The Associated Press.
Former leader of neo-Nazi group pleads guilty to 'swatting'
ALEXANDRIA, Va. A founder and former leader of a neo-Nazi group has pleaded guilty to conspiring to place hoax phone calls targeting an African American church, a Cabinet official, journalists and others. Prosecutors say Denton was leader of a group called Atomwaffen Division. More than a dozen people linked to Atomwaffen Division or an offshoot called Feuerkrieg Division have been charged with federal crimes since the groups formation in 2016. Denton also placed swatting calls to the New York City offices of news outlet ProPublica, and to a ProPublica reporter in Richmond, California. Another member of the swatting conspiracy, former ODU student John William Kirby Kelley, is scheduled to enter a plea next week.
Jared Kushner’s new assignment: Overseeing the construction of Trump’s border wall
He has blamed former chief of staff John F. Kelly and former homeland security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen for not focusing enough on the wall, senior administration officials said. The wall adds to Kushner’s growing portfolio of responsibilities, which some of his critics have said border on comical. But he remains the most influential adviser in the West Wing and enjoys a level of trust from the president that makes him unique within the administration, according to current and former administration officials. Administration officials acknowledge that building in those areas amounts to the lowest-hanging fruit for the border wall project. Still, Kushner has told others that a wall has to be built because his father-in-law promised it would be.
Immigration hawk promoted to U.S. homeland security acting deputy
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration named immigration hawk Ken Cuccinelli to the No. 2 position at the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday, the same day it installed an acting secretary who became the agencys fifth leader in three years. Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. REUTERS/Leah MillisChad Wolf told department staff in an email he had been sworn in as acting secretary, and that Cuccinelli would become acting deputy. He will replace outgoing acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan, whose resignation Trump announced in October.feeds.reuters.com
House panel chair asks watchdog for probe of Homeland Security leaders
FILE PHOTO - Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) listens to testimony from Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on The Way Forward on Border Security on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 6, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua RobertsWASHINGTON (Reuters) - The chairman of a U.S. House panel asked an internal watchdog on Friday to investigate whether top officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. border service knew about a Facebook group where agents posted racist and misogynistic comments. Such vile and threatening behavior from agents of the United States government is entirely unacceptable and should be grounds for immediate dismissal, Representative Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said in a letter to the DHSs acting inspector general. He also asked the acting inspector general to investigate whether Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan knew about the Facebook groups. The report emerged as Ocasio-Cortez and other lawmakers visited a border patrol station in Texas and criticized conditions at the site.feeds.reuters.com
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan orders investigation of 'inexcusable' Facebook posts allegedly made by border agents
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan listens to a question during a news conference at the Immigration and Customs Headquarters, on June 28, 2019 in Washington, DC. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan on Wednesday announced an investigation into "disturbing & inexcusable" social media posts allegedly made by Border Patrol agents. Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner John Sanders will resign Friday amid the political turmoil, a CBP official announced last week. She said that one migrant was told by Border Patrol officers to drink out of a toilet. "This is [Customs and Border Protection] on their best behavior, telling people to drink out of the toilet," Ocasio-Cortez told reporters.cnbc.com
LIVE: Pence, Nielsen visit ICE Headquarters
Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a meeting on June 20, 2018. WASHINGTON - Vice President Mike Pence will visit the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency in Washington. Pence will be joined by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. He will receive a briefing on ICEs overall mission on enforcement and removal operations, countering illicit trade and human smuggling. Following the briefing, Pence will meet with ICE employees then give remarks.