Politico released a report this week highlighting the lobbying past of one of those on President Trump's new shortlist, Chad Wolf, to replace the outgoing Acting Director of Homeland Security, Kevin McAleenan. For some time, Wolf worked as a lobbyist pressuring members of Congress to expand the already inflated H-1B visa program, as reported by Politico.
Last week, President Trump had been notified by the White House Director of presidential personnel that the two top picks for the new Secretary of DHS -- Ken Cuccinelli and Mark Morgan -- are ineligible to serve as acting secretary because a federal law governing agency succession makes them ineligible. That shifted the focus to Wolf.
The Politico report continues that Wolf was registered as a lobbyist between 2016 and 2017 for the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), which represents Indian and U.S. companies that place H-1B workers, often displacing U.S. workers or stagnating their wages in the process. Currently, displacing U.S. workers is allowed if the H-1B worker is employed by a subcontractor; while there have been murmurs in Congress of closing that loophole, no steps have been taken to do so.
Now, NASSCOM is lobbying Congress, through the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, to lift the 'country caps' that curb the use of the H-1B work visa to put Indian graduates into American office jobs. This expanding industry is having a huge impact on the salaries and job prospects of middle-aged American professionals, just as factory-job outsourcing had a huge impact on Americans in the Midwest, the report adds.
After officially leaving NASSCOM, Wolf served as chief of staff to then-DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who was ousted when Trump said he wanted to pursue "a tougher direction" on immigration. Advocates of common-sense immigration reform who work inside and outside the White House are still confused why the President's director of personnel would continue a pattern of installing DHS leaders who do not support the president's immigration agenda, reported NPR.
Wolf has spent years advocating for “cheap foreign tech workers,” according to a senior DHS official, who said Wolf’s appointment might cause them to resign. “He was the lone voice the previous secretary listened to. Her views on border enforcement, public charge and protecting American workers are his views….I signed up for the Trump message, not the Jeb Bush administration.”
The Trump Administration has gone through four DHS secretaries in less than three years in part because he and his allies grew dissatisfied with officials they thought were not sufficiently committed to the president’s immigration agenda. A White House official said it's time to install someone who is philosophically aligned with the president on his signature issue. "It's got to be someone on board with the program," the White House official said, according to NPR.
Updated: Mon, Nov 11th 2019 @ 12:35pm EST