Kirstjen Nielsen leaving post as Homeland Security secretary, Trump tweets

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen's resignation was partly fueled by her resistance to implementing a large-scale policy of separating immigrant families at the border, NBC News reports.

Kevin McAleenan, the current U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner, will become the acting secretary for DHS, Trump announced.

After CBS News reported Nielsen meant to resign Sunday from the position she has held since December 2017, the president confirmed on Twitter she would be leaving her position.

Nielsen also faced a critical response in a number of instances for comments that were seen as tone deaf.

Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, commanding General of the U.S. Army corps of Engineers, center and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, listens as President Donald Trump participates in a roundtable on immigration and border security at the U.S. Border Patrol Calexico Station in Calexico, Calif., Friday April 5, 2019.

A congressional official familiar with the matter said some in Congress believe Trump forced out Nielsen in part because she was trying to obey laws on treatment of refugees, granting of amnesty and separation of families.

This is a developing story.

She was brought in as assistant to Kelly, a retired marine general who set to work cracking down on illegal immigration as Trump's first DHS secretary. Trump announced Nielsen's resignation on Sunday.

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Replacing her on an acting basis will be Kevin McAleenan, who now serves as the commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, Trump said Sunday.

She proposed an alternative plan that would slow down entries at legal ports.

Trump told aides last fall that he wanted to fire Nielsen, and he grew increasingly agitated as a large caravan of Central American migrants reached the U.S. -Mexico border in California.

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". But she was also instrumental in ending the policy.

Nielsen's departure has been rumored repeatedly. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, "you know he's completely lost touch with the American people".

"I think what's important about that conversation is it's not that one side is right and one side is wrong", Nielsen said. During testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in December 2018, McAleenan said he thought it was "remarkable that agents were able to resolve the situation without any serious injuries or a breach of the border".

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 news follows an emergency conference call with members of President Donald Trump's Cabinet last Tuesday evening to discuss migration at the southern border. "And the problem is, the nature of the crossers, of migrants, coming across the border has changed", said York.

  • Sonia Alvarado