Jessica Vaughan: Kirstjen Nielsen 'Was Actively Working Against the President'

Democrats said McAleenan should have told them about the death of a child in US custody in December, but he largely has escaped the ire over family separations even though it was his agency that separated the children. As a health care professional, Underwood attempted to highlight whether or not Nielsen and DHS were aware of the longterm harm the policy could cause. Why would Trump be spiking his own nominee, a well-respected and longtime border official who appeared to be cruising to confirmation? Underwood said "the next leader of the Department of Homeland Security should lead with American values, and I stand ready to work with him".

Last week, he threatened to close the border with Mexico, and when forced to back down, he said he would impose tariffs on Mexican imports if they did nothing to prevent migrants from reaching the US.

Castro went on to say McAleenan "cannot be trusted. based on his record of prioritizing Trump's harmful policies". If she now claims that her participation was less than enthusiastic, that will not comfort one grieving family or reassure one frightened child. Thus, by operation of law, Grady would have become the acting secretary whenever Nielsen's resignation became effective, no matter what President Trump proclaims. This time around, the debate involves the Department of Homeland Security-and the resignation/firing/un-resignation/ ¯\_ (ツ) _/¯ of Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

"One of the great tragedies that is going on in our country today is the loopholes in our immigration laws", Miller said on "Face the Nation" in 2018.

On Monday, Nielsen told reporters she still supports the president's border goals.

In an administration already rife with record turnover, the rapid personnel changes could exacerbate internal conflict at the Homeland Security Department, the third-largest in the federal government, even as it grapples with what Nielsen and others have termed a "systemwide meltdown" in handling border security and immigration. According to the New York Times, Trump frequently "called Ms. Nielsen at home early in the mornings to demand that she take action to stop migrants from entering the country, including doing things that were clearly illegal, such as blocking all migrants from seeking asylum".

That could entail considering legally problematic measures like ending asylum or restarting forcible separations of migrant families, according to reports, although Trump said Tuesday he is not considering returning to the contentious practice.

Tim Naftali, a presidential historian at NYU, raised concerns about the direction of the administration's latest moves, which he argues are about more than immigration policy.

Trump later agreed to leave 400 United States troops in Syria.

Several top DHS jobs are either vacant or filled on an acting basis, including positions responsible for disaster response, immigration enforcement, finance, policy, and science and technology.

Even during Kelly's tenure as DHS head, "the low-hanging fruit of deterrent immigration policies had been picked a long time ago", writes Lind.

Says Trump: "I'm the one that stopped it". McAleenan not only has led an agency that focuses on the domestic aspects of immigration, but who also has experience in law enforcement.

"The president would ask things like, 'Why can't we do it this way?' Mr. Kelly said".

"I don't envy anybody in that position because these are policies that are White House policies, not DHS", said Kerlikowske, who promoted McAleenan to be his top deputy.

  • Leroy Wright