ADL Deeply Concerned at Nomination of Chad Wolf for Homeland Security Secretary

New York, NY, September 29, 2020 … ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) today expressed deep concern about the nomination of Chad Wolf to serve as Secretary of Homeland Security. In advance of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs vote on his nomination, scheduled for Sept. 30, Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL CEO and National Director, issued the following statement:

As an organization founded to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and committed to fighting hate and extremism for more than 100 years, we have deep concerns about Chad Wolf’s performance as Acting Secretary of Homeland Security since November 2019. These concerns lead us to question whether he truly is the person best suited for this position. 

In his role as Acting Secretary, and before that as Chief of Staff to former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Mr. Wolf has seriously downplayed the threat posed by white supremacists and right-wing extremists in this country. This is deeply troubling because, as ADL has extensively documented, the extraordinary upsurge of lethal extremist violence that has targeted Jews, Blacks, Latinx populations and other vulnerable communities in the last several years has been overwhelmingly committed by right-wing extremists. 

Mr. Wolf also bears responsibility for continuing to develop and implement a series of offensive and inhumane immigration policies, including family separation and the detention and expulsion of immigrants and asylum-seekers without due process.  In addition, under his leadership, DHS deployed armed Homeland Security agents to Portland, Oregon to confront mass protests against police brutality without the knowledge or agreement of local law enforcement authorities.

The Department of Homeland Security has a unique responsibility to safeguard people in the United States from extremists and to strike the right balance between securing our borders and respecting the civil and human rights of those seeking to come to this country as immigrants and as refugees.  Whoever the Senate confirms to lead this Department should have a track record that inspires confidence that he or she will be true to the Department’s stated mission:  “With honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values.”  We encourage the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee to keep this in mind as it considers its recommendation on this nomination.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.

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