Kirstjen Nielsen resigns as DHS Secretary

Kirstjen Nielsen resigns as DHS Secretary

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned on Sunday amid President Donald Trump's growing frustration and bitterness over the number of Central American families crossing the southern border.

The day before, President Donald Trump announced that Nielsen "will be leaving her position" after 16 months in the job.

In the four-page letter, Nielsen called the "situation" at the border a "system-wide meltdown", and said U.S. Customs and Border Protection gents of are so overwhelmed that they still have children in their custody because proper shelters are to capacity.

"What I'll say about Kevin is he's an extremely intelligent guy", he continued.

It remains unclear whether Nielsen has chose to leave voluntary, or whether she has been pressured to resign.

"There's definitely a larger shakeup abreast being led by Stephen Miller and the staunch right wing within the administration", a person close to Nielsen told Politico.

The New York Times reported almost a year ago, in May 2018, that Nielsen was close to resigning after Trump berated her in front of other Cabinet secretaries over increases in the number of immigrants crossing illegally from Mexico. Her time overseeing the sprawling department included conflict with Trump and overseeing a policy of separating children from their immigrant parents at the border with Mexico. "The President's risky and cruel anti-immigrant policies have only worsened the humanitarian suffering at the border and inflicted vast suffering on the families who have been torn apart".

Despite reports Trump complained constantly about Nielsen performance - and that he believed she was not harsh enough - she remained a loyalist.

The departure announcement comes just days after Nielsen visited the U.S. -Mexico border in Calexio, California, with Trump.

When Kelly moved to the White House as Trump's chief of staff in July 2017, Nielsen went with him as his deputy.

Matthew Whitaker - The former acting attorney general left the Justice Department last month, but could make a triumphant return to the Trump administration at DHS.

Nielsen's relationship with Trump was long said to be tenuous.

Nielsen's exit marks the end of a hard relationship with her boss, who was said to be unhappy with her performance despite her unswerving loyalty and full-throated defence of the president's most controversial policies.

"I think what's important about that conversation is it's not that one side is right and one side is wrong", Nielsen said.

Her replacement, McAleenan, has helped shape numerous administration's policies to date and is considered highly competent by congressional leaders, the White House and Homeland Security officials.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump's current chief of staff has insisted the president's tax returns will never be handed over to Democratic politicians. Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney has held his post since January, following John Kelly's resignation past year.

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