I Still Support Trump's Border Goals — Kirstjen Nielsen

I Still Support Trump's Border Goals — Kirstjen Nielsen

Democratic lawmakers are concerned Donald Trump will replace outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen with an immigration hard-liner, but the White House has yet to clearly explain what the president wants her successor to do differently.

Kirstjen Nielsen, pictured in October 2017, listens as US President Donald Trump nominates her as US Secretary of Homeland Security.

None of this, however, seems to have been enough for Trump, whose ever hardening push against illegal immigration has left no room for the 46-year-old, an old hand of the administration who signed on at the start of the real-estate tycoon's presidency. In this telling, Trump's administration drifts helplessly from disaster to disaster, with a cast of officials who all have one foot on a banana peel and another out the door. But in recent weeks, as a new wave of migration has taxed resources along the border and as Trump sought to regain control of the issue for his 2020 re-election campaign, tensions flared anew. Nielsen was responsible for executing that policy while at times denying there was such a policy.

A source close to Nielsen said Trump was convinced to oust her by his senior aide Stephen Miller, an immigration hardliner. "That she is reportedly resigning because she is not extreme enough for the White House's liking is deeply alarming". At that meeting, she resigned.

NBC reports Trump has been pushing to reinstate the policy since January, when the numbers of undocumented immigrants crossing the border began to rise. Much of its work would focus on content that could be harmful to children or pose a risk to national security.

The longest U.S. government shutdown was triggered in December 2018, when Democrats failed to support funding for the border wall, while the "zero tolerance" immigration policy at the border which led to family separation in 2018 was widely criticised, with the United States president eventually back-tracking. But she was also instrumental in ending the policy.

Gidley, the White House spokesman, acknowledged that numerous immigration changes Trump wants - like overhauling the program that grants preference to people with USA citizen or legal resident relatives; and the visa lottery process - would require congressional action.

Under Nielsen, migrants seeking asylum are waiting in Mexico as their cases progress. Right now there is space for about 3,000 families, and facilities are at capacity.

"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", Nielsen said in a resignation letter she later shared on Twitter. "She had a background in cybersecurity". A protege of Kelly's, he brought her to the White House after Trump named him chief of staff.

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