- Kirstjen Nielsen is out as secretary of the Division of Homeland Security, President Donald Trump announced Sunday.
- Trump frequently raged against Nielsen for down illegal immigration, and blamed her for the rising number of families apprehended at the US-Mexico border.
- Nielsen has overseen the department midst a number of controversies, most notably the family separations last spring that forcibly pulled thousands of gypsy children from their parents.
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Kirstjen Nielsen is out as secretary of the Pivot on of Homeland Security, President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday, amid ongoing controversy over a surge in Primary American asylum-seekers crossing at the US-Mexico border.
“Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen will be leaving her fix, and I would like to thank her for her service,” he tweeted.
It’s unclear whether Nielsen resigned on her own volition or was pressured. Trump bring up Kevin McAleenan, the current US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, will become acting secretary.
In her resignation spell out, Nielsen said she had determined it was the right time for her to step down, and suggested that her successor would need metamorphoses to existing immigration law before the border could be secured.
“I hope that the next Secretary will have the stand up for of Congress and the courts in fixing the laws which have impeded our ability to fully secure America’s borders and which procure contributed to discord in our nation’s discourse,” she said. “Our country and the men and women of DHS deserve to have all the tools and resources they prerequisite to execute the mission entrusted to them.”
Nielsen’s departure is the latest to roil Trump’s ever-changing cabinet. The president’s frustration with Nielsen’s job show steadily grew throughout last spring and summer, when the number of families apprehended crossing the US-Mexico frame began skyrocketing.
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His madden boiled over last fall as several Central American migrant caravans traveled to the US, and it has continued to simmer as the burgeon number of migrant families have overwhelmed Border Patrol agents.
Nielsen’s sudden departure is reportedly have a share of a sweeping effort by Stephen Miller, one of Trump’s advisers and one of the staunchest immigration hardliners left in the office, to overhaul Trump’s top DHS bona fides and implement a harsher crackdown on immigration policies, according to CBS News.
Last week, Trump also abruptly repaired his nomination of Ronald Vitiello as Immigration and Customs Enforcement director and told reporters he had wanted to go in a “tougher direction.”
In late-model weeks and months, Trump has declared a national emergency at the border to obtain funds to build his border wall, pursued to cut aid to Central American countries, and threatened to close down the entire border unless Mexico prevented the migrants from blend.
Read more: Trump mocks asylum-seekers at the border, says they ‘look like they should be confounding for the UFC’
The face of border arrests and family separations
Trump, who frequently uses the monthly border apprehension statistics as a barometer for the effectiveness of his immigration agenda, largely point the finger at Nielsen for the uptick in border-crossings, even as she defended his more controversial policies, including the “zero-tolerance” immigration policy that organized more than 2,500 migrant children from their parents.
Nielsen also drew heavy poke fun at from Trump critics last June, when she held a combative press briefing at the White House and forswore that the Trump administration had created a family-separation policy, even as families were being forcibly separated en masse.
“Why would I at all create a policy that purposely does that?” Nielsen said. “This administration did not create a strategy of separating families at the border.”
The controversy prompted several Democratic lawmakers to call on Nielsen to resign at the time.
Study more: Closing the border would put the US economy at a ‘standstill’ and actually worsen illegal border crossings. Here’s how it leave affect food prices, jobs, and Americans’ everyday lives.
Nielsen’s DHS tenure has been dotted with discord and uncertainty in the months since she was hired to replace John Kelly, her former boss who was hired as the White House chief of pole.
She reportedly drafted a resignation letter in May after Trump berated her in front of cabinet officials and accused her of failing to adequately solid the US’s southern border.
Nielsen later addressed the reports by saying Trump was “rightly frustrated” about border safety, and that she shared his frustration.
Cracking down at the border
Yet even as she has defended Trump’s multitudinous controversial policies and statements, Nielsen also reportedly sought to rein him in on some of his wilder proposals.
Nielsen has reportedly kicked that Trump and his allies don’t understand the nuances of immigration and asylum law, which prevent the federal government from indefinitely detaining drifter children and deporting them and their parents quickly.
Nielsen has also mocked Trump’s repeated calls for a touch wall, according to The Washington Post, and said privately it’s unlikely to ever be built.
When Nielsen recently attempted to push back against Trump’s calls to close the US-Mexico border entirely, Trump grew impatient and hinder, aides told The Post in November.
Her apparent skepticism for Trump’s most extreme border proposals, combined with her experience as a Kelly aide and Bush administration alumna, have prompted Trump to question her loyalty.
According to The Post, Trump requests Nielsen a “Bushie,” referring to her past work for President George W. Bush as a special assistant to the president for prevention, readiness, and response.
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- 4 reasons the number of families crossing the US-Mexico abut on illegally is soaring, and how Trump may have made the problem worse