The new acting DHS secretary has to recuse himself from certain immigration issues because he previously worked as a lobbyist for corporations that want cheap foreign labor. Breitbart is reporting that a senior official in the Trump administration says Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf will be delegating the issue of H-1B visas to a yet-to-be-determined official due to Wolf's previous work as a lobbyist for corporations that rely on visa programs to outsource American jobs.
The decision by Wolf comes as the Trump administration has received pushback from pro-American worker groups who fear that the appointment will compromise the president’s “Buy American, Hire American” agenda.
Sara Blackwell of Protect U.S. Workers — which represents American workers displaced by the H-1B visa program — asked Trump not to appoint Wolf to the job. Likewise, officials with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) asked that Wolf recuse himself from not only handling the H-1B visa program, but all foreign worker visa issues.
Wolf is the latest acting DHS secretary, following Kevin McAleenan's announcement in early Oct. that he would be stepping down from the position. It was reported that Wolf had not been Trump's first pick for the acting DHS secretary role -- Ken Cuccinelli was -- but Cuccinelli was ineligible for the top position due to a federal law governing agency succession. White House Director of Presidential Personnel Sean Doocey is said to have then provided Trump with a list of names eligible for the top position, including Mr. Wolf's.
The acting DHS secretary is a central figure in the Trump administration. Many of the president's campaign promises fall under the purview of the DHS secretary, which oversees both the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agencies.
Back in February, when Wolf served as chief of staff to former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Wolf recused himself from a number of issues relating to the H-1B and L-1 visa programs. Wolf previously worked for the Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) when the agency was created on the heels of the Sep. 11 attacks. But Wolf left the TSA to work as a lobbyist, where he spent more than a decade representing companies like NASSCOM, the National Association of Software and Services Companies, which, as Breitbart notes, represents many of the companies that rely on visa programs to outsource American jobs.
On Friday, a group of American tech workers, who lost their jobs to visa holders from India, celebrated a legal victory after a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals found the group of displaced workers has legal standing to sue the DHS for an Obama-era regulation that resulted in them being fired by their employers. Those employers required some of the workers to train their foreign replacements before the company, Southern California Edison, let them go.
The H-1B and L-1 visa programs are two important programs for companies seeking to replace American workers with cheap foreign labor. President Trump has repeatedly talked about putting Americans workers first in his policies, but the acting DHS secretary seems to have spent more than a decade fighting against that very principle.