President Trump announced Sunday afternoon that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen “will be leaving her position” after 16 months in the job.
Trump also announced that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Kevin McAleenan will replace Nielsen, tweeting: “I have confidence that Kevin will do a great job!”
….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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 7, 2019
He seems to have the same ideas as Secretary Nielsen so we don’t know how much better this will be. How can anyone do this job until Congress acts and they’ve already made it clear that they won’t act?
In December, McAleenan told ABC News:
We also need to invest in Central America. The State Department’s announcement of an unprecedented increase in aid, I think, is a tremendous step forward. There are green shoots of progress, both on security and the economic front in Central America, we need to foster that and help improve the opportunities to stay at home.
IT WAS IN THE WORKS
On Friday, Trump confirmed he withdrew the nomination of acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Ron Vitiello to become the permanent head of the agency, telling reporters that “Ron’s a good man, but we’re going in a tougher direction, we want to go in a tougher direction.”
She might have felt blindsided by that. It was indicative of movement behind the scenes at the same time Stephen Miller was allegedly trying to convince the President to get tougher.
Nielsen skipped last week’s meeting of interior ministers from the Group of Seven in Paris to deal with the migration crisis, which she has compared to the aftermath of a Category 5 hurricane.
President Trump confirms on Twitter that DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is leaving, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan will be the department’s acting secretary https://t.co/Pk2EDPD4el pic.twitter.com/9tGSVcRhDJ
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 7, 2019