Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen listens to President Donald Trump at a roundtable on immigration and border security at the U.S. Border Patrol Calexico Station in Calexico, Calif., Friday April 5, 2019. Trump headed to the border with Mexico to make a renewed push for border security as a central campaign issue for his 2020 re-election.
HOMELAND SECURITY CHIEF JOINS LIST
OF DEPARTED TRUMP OFFICIALS
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has resigned amid President Donald Trump’s growing frustration and bitterness over the number of Central American families crossing the southern border.
Trump announced on Sunday in a tweet that U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan would be taking over as acting head of the department. McAleenan is a longtime border official who is well-respected by members of Congress and within the administration. The decision to name a top immigration officer to the post reflects Trump’s priority for the sprawling department founded to combat terrorism following the Sept. 11 attacks.
“I have determined that it is the right time for me to step aside,” Nielsen wrote in her resignation letter. “I hope that the next secretary will have the support of Congress and the courts in fixing the laws which have impeded our ability to fully secure America’s borders and which have contributed to discord in our nation’s discourse.”
Though Trump aides were eyeing a staff shake-up at Homeland Security and had already withdrawn the nomination for another key immigration post, the development Sunday was unexpected.
Nielsen traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border on Friday with Trump to participate in a roundtable with border officers and local law enforcement. There she echoed Trump’s comments on the situation at the border, though she ducked out of the room without explanation for some time while Trump