Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen resigns

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With Department of Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen leaving the White House administration, President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that he has appointed Kevin McAleenan to serve as Acting DHS secretary.

Commissioner Kevin McAleenan is a veteran border official, according to The Associated Press. Nielsen had recently warned a congressional panel of a "catastrophe" on the Southern border after the number of crossings hit a 10-year high.

CBS News reports that Nielsen's possible resignation is just one of several expected in a "a massive DHS overhaul" created to take the Department of Homeland Security in a "tougher direction", more in line with Trump's campaign rhetoric.

Ms Nielsen had not only aroused the ire of Mr Trump, but also Stephen Miller, the president's hardline immigration adviser.

Her department was responsible for implementing the proposed border wall and the separation of migrant families, and she became the face of the controversial moves.

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But privately, she had grown increasingly frustrated by what she saw as a lack of support from other departments and increased meddling by Trump aides, the people said. DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen reportedly met with President Donald Trump around 5 p.m.

Nielsen's departure was announced two days after the Republican president abruptly said on Friday he was dumping his own nominee to be the top officials at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Ronald Vitiello, saying he wanted someone "tougher". CNN's Jake Tapper reports that Nielsen's status is still unclear as of Sunday evening. The president recently vowed to cut all US foreign aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador and has repeatedly threatened to close ports of entry to and from Mexico if the country's government does not do more to prevent migrants from the Northern Triangle from reaching the southern border. "We want to go in a tougher direction", Trump said.

Images of sobbing children being taken from their parents past 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".

Nielsen, 46, has held the position since December 2017.

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