Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned her post Sunday. The announcement was made by President Trump on Twitter.
“Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen will be leaving her position, and I would like to thank her for her service…” the President wrote on Twitter. In a subsequent tweet the President said U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan will become the acting DHS secretary until a permanent one is confirmed by Congress.
Nielsen and the President have never enjoyed a strong working relationship but the move was nevertheless unexpected. It is seen as one step in a larger shakeup of leadership at the Department. The White House is said to be bringing in a team that will take a harder-line stance on immigration.
Apprehensions along the southern border are expected to have surged to 100,000 last month. Nielsen was considered by some in the West Wing, including the President himself, to be reluctant to implement some of the President’s tougher immigration initiatives, including those that challenged current law.
Nielsen, in her resignation letter and later comments to reporters, reiterated her support for the President and his policies on securing the southern border. “I will continue to support all efforts to address the humanitarian and security crisis,” she said.
“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,” she added.
Photo by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol via Flickr