Nielsen Thanks DHS Law Enforcement Officers, Calls out Congress in Resignation Letter

Nielsen Thanks DHS Law Enforcement Officers, Calls out Congress in Resignation Letter

Kirstjen Nielsen's abrupt departure as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) comes as President Trump seeks to steer his administration towards a "tougher" approach on immigration to confront a surge in migrant families heading to the U.S.

Kevin McAleenan, commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, will become acting secretary pending confirmation of Nielsen's successor, Trump said.

There have been persistent tensions between the White House and Ms Nielsen nearly from the moment she became secretary, after her predecessor John Kelly became the White House chief of staff in 2017.

CBS News reports that Nielsen's possible resignation is just one of several expected in a "a massive DHS overhaul" created to take the Department of Homeland Security in a "tougher direction", more in line with Trump's campaign rhetoric.

This is a developing story.

On the other side, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Nielsen "did her best to deal with a broken immigration system and broken Congress". CBS says the move is "orchestrated" and "engineered" by White House adviser Stephen Miller, who has encouraged Trump to take a very tough life in illIegal immigration. "She put in place some of the president's most brutal policies relating to the treatment of asylum seekers", said Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

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Nielsen, 46, never really got on the same page as Trump when it came to addressing the growing crisis on the border between the United States and Mexico - where Trump famously vowed to "build a wall and make Mexico pay for it".

She appeared to have done enough to win over her boss, who until then was reportedly close to firing her for failing to keep an adequate check on illegal border crossings, a cornerstone of Trump's election campaign. The topic of today's meeting with Nielsen was, according to reports, a path forward on those issues.

After criticism as pictures of children in cages were spread across the world, Trump signed an executive order in June ending family separations and requiring that families be held together in federal custody while the adults awaited prosecution for illegally crossing the border. A source familiar with Nielsen's thinking told CNN Nielsen is taking this as a relief.

Ultimately, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney seemed to have been able to talk the President out of closing the port of El Paso.

The president announced Nielsen's resignation on Twitter before she had the chance. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said the government needed "steady, informed and effective leadership in the administration and in Congress to have any hope of fixing our out-of-control border security and immigration problems".

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