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US Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen 'leaving her position'

US Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen 'leaving her position'

Asked what kind of legacy Nielsen will leave, Portney said this: "Well, one of things that people will surely forever remember when it comes to Kirstjen Nielsen's service as Homeland Security Secretary is matters that the administration dealt with with the zero tolerance policy in the Spring of 2018". The president on Friday dropped his nominee to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Ronald Vitiello, telling reporters, "We want to go in a tougher direction".

Though Trump aides were eyeing a staff shake-up at Homeland Security and had already withdrawn the nomination for another key immigration post, the development Sunday was unexpected. The Wall Street Journal reported in November that Trump had made a decision to replace Ms Nielsen.

"I am pleased to announce that Kevin McAleenan, the current US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, will become Acting Secretary".

Senior administration officials told CNN that Nielsen had a 5 p.m. meeting at the White House with Trump where she was planning to discuss with him the immigration and border issues and a path forward.

"Nielsen has served as DHS secretary since December 2017, and questions about how much longer she might last have swirled for months, as the president continues to articulate his frustrations about illegal immigration". Nielsen faced more public pressure after the Trump administration enacted a policy of family separation that resulted in thousands of migrant children being separated from their parents, which the president ultimately reversed. Last year, liberal protesters shouted her out of a Washington, D.C. restaurant and then protested outside her home using a bullhorn, keeping her up at night.




As leader of DHS, Nielsen was responsible for carrying out some of Trump efforts such as his battle to build a wall on the border with Mexico, stepped-up deportations and treatment of migrant children, as images of children being held in cages were spread around the world.

Images of sobbing children being taken from their parents previous year fuelled a national outcry that saw Democrats demand she resign, as condemnation poured in from the United Nations, human rights groups, and four former first ladies - all mothers - who called the policy "cruel" and "immoral".

Before she was nominated as secretary, Nielsen worked as a deputy to former Marine General John Kelly, who headed DHS before becoming White House chief of staff. Fox News has not confirmed the report.

Kelly resigned as chief of staff on January 2 amid reports of a strained relationship with Trump.

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