Homeland chief berated, seen as close to quitting

Kirstjen Nielsen

According to those familiar with the admonishment, Trump was unhappy with Nielsen's handling of border security; one source told the Times that the president went on a long tirade about Nielsen's lack of ability to tighten the U.S. -Mexico border and prevent undocumented immigrants from entering the country. The Times reported two of them said Nielsen had drafted a resignation letter but had not submitted it. DHS spokesperson Tyler Houlton said the Times reporting that Nielsen had drafted a resignation letter and was close to resigning is false.

President Donald Trump walks across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 10, 2018, as he returns from nearby Andrews Air Force Base, Md., following an evening trip to Elkhart, Ind., for a campaign rally. Along with the some 700,000 Dreamers brought to the USA illegally as children, who Trump stripped of protection in September, about one million people who were once legal residents in the country face potential deportation. Nielsen issued her own statement Thursday evening saying the president is justifiably frustrated but that she is staying on the job.

Nielsen, who was chief of staff for John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, oversees the 20,000 employees who work for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

"Someone, as sources have put it, has gotten it in his head that she is a Bush family plant", Haberman wrote of Trump's suspicions of Nielsen. He repeatedly claimed credit for the fact that during his first year in office, illegal border crossings dropped to their lowest levels in decades.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who pushed for Nielsen - his former deputy - to be DHS secretary, told reporters Friday that he expects her to stay on the job.

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Trump has been a long critic of the current immigration system. "I share his frustration", she said. Another person said the president was primarily focused on the Homeland Security Department because he viewed Nielsen as primarily responsible for keeping unauthorized people out of the country. While doing so, he got furious at Nielsen and blamed her for not introducing enough measures to stop border crossings. But this year, they have risen again.

Trump has also been frustrated with Nielsen, according to people familiar with the dynamic.

During those discussions, officials had presented Trump with a list of proposals that would help border agents crack down on people crossing the border illegally and send them back more quickly.

Kelly said most illegal immigrants in the USA today "are not bad people. but they're also not people that would easily assimilate" because they are poorly educated. The president and his aides in the White House had been pushing a family separation policy for weeks as a way of deterring families from trying to cross the border illegally.

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