Update: Resignation confirmed. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan will be interim DHS chief until a permanent replacement is named.
….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
Reports are coming in that DHS Chief Kirstjen Nielsen will be resigning today. It should have happened long ago considering how terribly managed border security has been under her watch.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 7, 2019
President Trump was reportedly unhappy with her and considered firing her throughout last year, but former Chief of Staff John Kelly protected her. With Kelly resigning in December, Nielsen’s time was presumed to be limited. Now, it appears the clock has run out.
As much as I liked her rhetoric in the early days of her tenure, it never manifested into tangible action that benefited border patrol or ICE. As the numbers got worse, she seemed unsure of her direction even when there were clear indicators of what needed to be done. Instead of securing more resources for her department as was clearly necessary based on realities at the border, she squandered what she was given and start pointing fingers in the wrong direction.
Some could blame the President for keeping her hands tied, but that never seemed to be the case. Other than some harsh words behind closed doors, there were never indications that he was holding her back or sending her in the wrong direction. The poor choices she’s made for border security have been hers and hers alone.
This couldn’t have come at a worse time. The department needs strong leadership to even scratch the surface on the problems at hand. It’s incumbent on the President to find a suitable replacement quickly and to make certain the department heads in a good direction in the interim.
The only bad part about Kirstjen Nielsen leaving is that it didn’t happen sooner. We need decisive, aggressive leadership to secure the borders. The President needs someone in that position who understands the problems and fights for solutions.
Kirstjen Nielsen’s resignation was way, way past due. Total incompetence on the border crisis.
— Josh Hammer (@josh_hammer) April 7, 2019
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