Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen stepping down

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen stepping down

Kirstjen Nielsen, the United States homeland security chief whose departure was announced by Donald Trump on Sunday, was said to be a frequent target of the president's ire despite being among the staunchest defenders of his controversial immigration policies.

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen will be leaving her position, and I would like to thank her for her service....

The 33-year-old Miller has reportedly been pushing the president to fire USCIS director Lee Francis Cissna, and he appears to have played a role in Trump's surprising withdrawal of the nomination of acting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Ronald Vitiello, saying he wanted to push the agency in a "tougher direction". He said he had confidence that McAleenan "will do a great job!"

And while she may not have been aggressive enough for Trump, or Miller, Nielsen will forever remembered as the person who ran DHS during one of the darkest moments in USA history.

The president announced Nielsen's resignation on Twitter before she had the chance.

CBS News was the first to report that Nielsen would resign, and attributed the decision to adviser Stephen Miller and an "overhaul" of all things immigration on his part. Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney has held his post since January, following John Kelly's resignation past year.

Despite warnings of dire economic consequences, including by top Republicans, Trump has repeatedly threatened to close the US-Mexico border, demanding that Congress and Central American governments act to stem a flow of migrants that saw Nielsen last week order an "emergency surge" of personnel to handle the situation. She will be remembered most for her role in overseeing the "zero tolerance" policy towards migrants crossing the Mexico-US border, which resulted in the separation of more than 2,700 children from their parents.

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The US president has lately ramped up his efforts to enforce strict immigration policy and cut aid to three South American countries last month.

McCaul, who chaired the House Homeland Security Committee for six years, called her "a principled voice on national security issues [who] wholly understands the complex threats we face". "Congress should do its due diligence and properly vet the next DHS Secretary". She talked to the White House counsel to see if there were any exceptions, but he told her that her reading of the law was correct.

Never mind that, if Nielsen were any tougher, she'd run a high risk of breaking the law. Economic experts have warned a closure of the border with Mexico will cause significant harm to the US economy.

Nielsen, 46, held the position since December 2017. She also worked as Trump's Deputy Chief of Staff.

Kirstjen Nielsen is out as Homeland Security secretary and, for now at least, Kevin McAleenan is in.

Kelly resigned as chief of staff on January 2 amid reports of a strained relationship with Trump.