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Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen Has Resigned

She will be replaced by Kevin McAleenan, current commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Kirstjen Nielsen

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen listens to President Donald Trump at a roundtable on immigration and border security at the U.S. Border Patrol Calexico Station in Calexico, Calif.

Jacquelyn Martin/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned, according to a Sunday evening tweet by President Donald Trump. At the same time, the president announced that Kevin McAleenan, the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, will become Acting Secretary of Homeland Security.

Nielsen, who has been secretary since December 2017, presided over the mass detention of migrants found coming across the U.S.-Mexico border. During her tenure, two children died while being held in detention centers. Before the deaths, a child had not died in Border Patrol’s custody for a decade.

On Friday, Nielsen joined the president on a trip to Calexico, Calif. to visit a section of border fencing that had recently been refurbished—and that Trump wrongfully claimed was the beginning of his “Wall.” But the day before the trip, Nielsen was surprised by the Trump Administration’s decision to withdraw Ronald Vitiello’s nomination for the head of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in favor of someone “tougher.” Vitiello, who had been running the agency in an acting capacity, did not accompany Trump and Nielsen on the trip as planned or report to work on Friday.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.


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