By Godson Ikiebey-
The United States Homeland Security Secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, who oversaw President Donald Trump’s bitterly contested immigration policies during her tumultuous 16-month tenure, resigned on Sunday, April 7, 2019 amid a surge in the number of migrants at the border with Mexico.
Reuters report that a senior administration official said President Trump asked for Nielsen’s resignation and she gave it.
In a tweet on the resignation by President Trump, he wrote: “Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen will be leaving her position, and I would like to thank her for her service”.
He also tweeted Kevin McAleenan, the current U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner, would become acting DHS secretary.
NIelsen however said she would stay on till Wednesday, April 10, 2019. She wrote in a late Sunday tweet that:
“I have agreed to stay on as Secretary through Wednesday, April 10th to assist with an orderly transition and ensure that key DHS missions are not impacted”.
Nielsen, 46, had been DHS secretary since December 2017. Her departure had been repeatedly rumored over the past year, particularly after a wave of anger over the administration’s 2018 family separation policy at the border with Mexico and most recently as U.S. border officials estimated that 100,000 migrants were apprehended at the southern border in March, 2019 the highest level in a decade.
Another senior administration official said President Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, after a blowup with Nielsen late last year, also recommended to the president that she should go.
President Trump has made a clampdown on illegal immigration a centerpiece of his two-year-old presidency, leading chants of “Build that wall” at his rallies as he has sought to cut back on the number of newcomers entering the United States without proper documentation.
In her resignation letter to President Trump, Nielsen asked for more from Congress and the courts, which have opposed such Trump administration initiatives as his effort to limit immigration from Muslim nations and the border wall.
“I hope that the next Secretary will have the support of Congress and the courts in fixing the laws which have impeded our ability to fully secure America’s borders and which have contributed to discord in our nation’s discourse”.