Senator Ron Johnson
By Ray O'Hanlon
Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, appeared before a Senate committee Wednesday as part of the belated move to have him fully confirmed in his post.
Wolf answered questions from Republican and Democratic members of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee which is chaired by Republican Senator Ron Johnson.
A federal judge recently opined that Wolf was "unlawfully" functioning in his acting capacity, hence the move by President Trump to have Mr. Wolf formally confirmed by the Senate.
Regardless of Mr. Wolf's legal Standing, or otherwise, questions have arisen with regard his role in the deportation from the United States of Malachy McAllister last June.
Senator Johnson, the senior senator from Wisconsin, might not have been aware of the McAllister deportation case prior to Wednesday's hearing, but the Ancient Order of Hibernians sought to make him aware of the case in advance of the hearing by way of a letter.
Questions continue to swirl around the precise role that Acting Secretary Wolf had in McAllister's removal from the U.S., the Belfast native's home for more than two decades. The Hibernians, however, see the hand of Mr. Wolf in McAllister's deportation.
In the letter, penned by Neil Cosgrove, AOH National Political Chair, the Hibernians stated that they had "serious questions regarding this nomination, questions that Mr. Wolf, as acting Secretary, has not answered. They are questions we hope Senator Johnson that you will ask Mr. Wolf."
The desired questions were not asked during the hearing, which was partly on Capitol Hill and partly virtual.
Stated the AOH letter: "On June 9, 2020, one of our members, Malachy McAllister, a law-abiding, tax-paying resident of the United States for over two decades, was deported by Homeland Security at Acting Secretary Wolf’s direction.
"As a youth, Mr. McAllister had been a resident of Northern Ireland. Like many of his generation, Malachy was caught up in the conflict known as 'the Troubles,' involvement for which he was jailed and then released early for good behavior.
"Despite having renounced violence and becoming a voice for peace and reconciliation, the McAllister home was attacked by Loyalists and sprayed with submachine gun fire when only the McAllister Children and his Mother-in-Law were home. It has subsequently come to light that a British intelligence asset supplied the weapons and targeting information.
"Mr. McAllister fled to the United States with his family, seeking the traditional promise of safety and new beginnings that America has offered generations of political refugees. No less a personage than President Trump’s sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, wrote in an opinion that current law did not anticipate the circumstances of the McAllister family. Senior Senate and Congressional leaders wrote to DHS to exercise discretion in the McAllister case until legislative redress could be made. Mr. Wolf chose to ignore the petitions of the people’s elected representatives.
"Such was Mr. Wolf’s hurry to get Mr. McAllister out of the country, that when informed that Mr. McAllister had recently broken his collar bone and that Doctor’s had advised that he should not travel, DHS chartered, at considerable taxpayer expense, an Air Ambulance and crew to deport Mr. McAllister rather than letting this man who had lived here for two decades the necessary time to heal so he could use a scheduled commercial flight.
"The only logical conclusion we can draw from this rash act is that Acting Secretary Wolf feared appeals on Mr. McAllister’s behalf would be successful. Mr. Wolf, therefore, took it upon himself to violate the rules of compassion, common sense, and the fiscal responsibilities of his department to get Mr. McAllister out of the country as quickly as possible to avoid this possibility for his own reasons.
"The Hibernians currently have an FOIA request, 2020-ICFO-56457, with DHS that is already fifty days overdue from DHS’s target response date.
"It is our hope, Senator Johnson, that you will raise the question of Malachy McAllister in tomorrow’s hearing and hopefully get the answer as to why an appointee took it upon himself to place himself above the people’s elected representatives and wasted considerable taxpayer dollars to unnecessarily expedite the removal of an unoffending Grandfather who was no threat to this nation."