Trump Trying to Reinstate Family Separations at Border

10 April, 2019, 04:00 | Author: Amy Huff
  • U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen arrives for a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill

Nielsen announced her resignation on Sunday, and Trump announced that US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan would take over as secretary on an acting basis, leaving his border position open.

Nielsen was on the job for roughly a year-and-a-half, replacing retired U.S. Marine Corps general John Kelly - who resigned to become Trump's chief of staff. That meant Grady had to resign or be fired.

This account is based on interviews with 20 administration officials, congressional aides and people familiar with the events, many of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss internal deliberations.

Hogan Gidley, White House deputy press secretary, told reporters: "The separation of families, you know, the president has said before he does not like that".

The military already has several thousand troops at the border erecting wire barriers and performing other missions in support of Customs and Border Protection personnel.

However, immigration advocates have said that regardless of who holds the top job in the DHS, it is Stephen Miller, President Donald Trump's senior policy adviser, who will be steering the ship. "But I haven't decided".

And while she may not have been aggressive enough for Trump, or Miller, Nielsen will forever remembered as the person who ran DHS during one of the darkest moments in US history. More leaders are expected to leave the agency.

Arrests along the southern border have increased sharply over the past few months.

"The president wants fewer people showing up at the border", said Cristobal Ramón, an analyst at the Bipartisan Policy Center. That statute authorizes the president to name as acting secretary any Senate-confirmed government officer and any other senior DHS employee who has been with the department for at least 90 of the previous 365 days. Another 8,975 were children traveling alone.

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The idea was shelved after pictures of children in cages flooded social networks but not before 245 children were taken from their families.

The abrupt resignation of President Donald Trump's third homeland security chief in two years gave no pleasure even to those who viewed her as an enabler - someone who never seemed eager enough for Trump to pursue harsh anti-immigrant policies, but did so anyway.

But by October she was back at DHS, this time as secretary.

"Miller's going to clean house", said a former White House official, calling Alles "Kelly's best friend". Additional reports claimed Nielsen actually opposed the reinstatement of the family separation policy at the US-Mexico border. "She put in place some of the president's most brutal policies relating to the treatment of asylum seekers", said Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

And yet, he continued, Nielsen was reportedly forced out because she wasn't tough enough on immigration.

Trump ended the practice under pressure previous year after footage of scores of migrant children housed in fenced-off cages at border facilities was broadcast widely.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen talks outside her home in Alexandria, Va., on Monday, April 8, 2019.

He said in a statement, however, that she should not serve as a scapegoat, blasting Trump for "terrible and cruel policies".

"I hope members of the administration are actually listening", said Sen.



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