Kirstjen Nielsen to Resign From Department of Homeland Security

Geraldine Edwards
April 9, 2019

On Friday, Trump called for Congress to "get rid of the whole asylum system" and get rid of immigration judges, and criticized a long-standing federal court decree mandating certain standards of care for migrant children.

Democrats spared no sympathy for Nielsen in her departure.

None of this, however, seems to have been enough for Trump.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned on Sunday. Ms. Nielsen will stay on until April 10 after which Kevin McAleenan, current U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner will take charge as Acting Homeland Security Secretary.

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A former Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting director says the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary will "think outside the box" when he deals with the border crisis.

During Nielsen's tenure, apprehensions of migrant families between ports of entry along the southern border have steadily increased since the summer of 2018 and have reached record highs in recent months, according to government figures.

This comes just days after Trump visited the US-Mexico border with Nielsen amid a surge in numbers attempting to cross. He predicted White House officials will seek "something more stringent and tougher to try to make it more hard for [undocumented] migrants to access the asylum system". "Will Close Southern Border If necessary." he tweeted yesterday evening. The President wanted families separated even if they were apprehended within the US.

Nielsen continued: "Our country - and the men and women of DHS - deserve to have all the tools and resources they need to execute the mission entrusted to them".

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A senior administration official said Trump asked for Nielsen's resignation and she gave it.

Nielsen, 46, held the position since December 2017.

When Kelly moved to the West Wing as chief of staff, Nielsen followed, becoming a deputy chief of staff tasked with helping Kelly bring rigor to a freewheeling staff.

But by October that year, she was back at DHS, this time as secretary.

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Nielsen, though, bristled at suggestions the children were being mistreated, or placed into what appeared to be "cages". She ended up resigning, though she was not forced to do so, they said. Sure enough, Politico reported on this late Sunday night, writing that while it "was not immediately clear whether Miller played a role in the departure of Nielsen", he has mounted a pressure campaign to remove anyone he views as insufficiently hostile to nonwhite immigration. CNN's Jake Tapper notes that rumors are these are only two of several changes in direction that will be coming down, focusing the President's agenda on a more definitive immigration and border policy. She walked into it prepared to resign, depending on what she heard.

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