Trump, Frustrated With Overrun SW Border, Replaces DHS Secretary Nielsen

By Susan Jones | April 8, 2019 | 5:02am EDT
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen joined President Donald Trump as he signed an executive order ending the practice of separating family members at the border on June 20, 2018. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

( - Kirstjen Nielsen is out as Homeland Security Secretary, and her replacement for now is Kevin McAleenan, the current U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner.

Nielsen's resignation came two days after she traveled to the Calexico, California with the president. Her departure is not a surprise. The Washington Post reported last November that President Trump wanted her to leave.

President Donald Trump made the announcement by tweet, after meeting with Nielsen at the White House Sunday afternoon, where Nielsen handed him her resignation letter (see below).

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

"I am pleased to announce that Kevin McAleenan, the current U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, will become Acting Secretary for @DHSgov. I have confidence that Kevin will do a great job!" Trump wrote.

Two more tweets followed:

More apprehensions (captures) at the Southern Border than in many years. Border Patrol amazing! Country is FULL! System has been broken for many years. Democrats in Congress must agree to fix loopholes - No Open Borders (Crimes & Drugs). Will Close Southern Border If necessary.

Mexico must apprehend all illegals and not let them make the long march up to the United States, or we will have no other choice than to Close the Border and/or institute Tariffs. Our Country is FULL!

In her resignation letter, Nielsen said she has worked tirelessly for the past two years to help her department "keep pace with our enemies and adversaries." She said she hopes the next DHS 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."

Her entire letter follows.

Mr. President,

I hereby resign from the position of Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), effective April 7th 2019. It has been my great honor to lead the men and women of the Department as its sixth Secretary. I could not be prouder of and more humbled by their service, dedication, and commitment to keep our country safe from all threats and hazards. I join all Americans in thanking them for their sacrifices and those of their families.

For more than two years of service beginning during the Presidential Transition, I have worked tirelessly to advance the goals and missions of the Department. I am immensely proud of our successes in transforming DHS to keep pace with our enemies and adversaries — whether it is in cyberspace or against emerging threats from new technologies.

Despite our progress in reforming homeland security for a new age, I have determined that it is the right time for me to step aside. 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. 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.

I can say with confidence our homeland is safer today than when I joined the Administration. We have taken unprecedented action to protect Americans. We have implemented historic efforts to defend our borders, combat illegal immigration, obstruct the inflow of drugs, and uphold our laws and values. We have responded decisively to record-breaking natural disasters and helped Americans rebuild. We have prevented the disruption of U.S. elections and guarded against foreign interference in our democracy. We have replaced complacency with consequences in cyberspace, we are holding digital intruders accountable, and we are stepping up our protection of American networks. We have thwarted terrorist plotting against our homeland and launched new efforts to block terrorists and criminals from reaching our shores. And we have ramped up security measures to make it harder for our enemies and adversaries to attack us, whether it is with drones, chemical and biological weapons, or through other means.

Thank you again for the privilege to serve the American people and to lead the outstanding men and women of the Department of Homeland Security. Supporting these patriots has been the honor of a lifetime.


Kirstjen M. Nielsen
Secretary of Homeland Security

In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last month, CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said that changes in the law -- particularly the rules requiring the quick release of illegal aliens into the interior of the country -- would make a big difference in stemming the flow of illegal aliens into this country.



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