Published: Wed, April 10, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

Underwood reacts to Nielsen ousting as Homeland Security secretary

Underwood reacts to Nielsen ousting as Homeland Security secretary

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

On Monday, Nielsen told reporters she still supports the president's border goals. "And it, frankly, has to raise the question for anyone who's offered a Cabinet opportunity [from] President Trump, whether their reputation will survive".

The shake-up is a result of Trump's frustration with the increasing number of migrants at the border and his diminishing options for action. Another caravan appeared to be forming. For example, the department has facilities adequate to house only about 3,000 families detained after trying to sneak across the border.

The top-down shake-up is said to be motivated by Trump's interest in more restrictions regarding migration at the U.S. -Mexico border, and with immigration overall. Why couldn't he deliver?

Nielsen's resignation isn't that surprising, though, especially given Trump's weekend comments at the Republican Jewish Coalition leadership meeting that asylum is a "scam", peddled by people with face tattoos.

Trump wasn't having it.

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. Nielsen has never expressed any remorse for this.

"Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen will be leaving her position, and I would like to thank her for her service", Trump tweeted.

Some fear that may include a return of the family separations that Trump was forced to back away from previous year, as well as more firings.

But Nielsen took the brunt of Trump's fury over rising border crossing numbers, and the situation was only getting worse. It was also reported that one of the reasons Nielsen was pushed out is because she resisted President Trump's efforts to institute an expanded version of his migrant family separation policy. And he didn't like it.

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Congress president Rahul Gandhi too condemned the attack and offered his condolences to the families of those killed. Mandavi was the lone Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Bastar region which accounts for 12 Assembly seats.

Nielsen went into the White House on Sunday to meet with Trump.

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions: Sessions repeatedly refused Trump's cajoling to un-recuse himself in the Russian Federation investigation being run by the FBI.

"It is the right time for me to step aside", Nielsen wrote in her letter of resignation.

And then there's returning asylum seekers to Mexico and sometimes in their native countries. Trump added U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan would replace Nielsen on an interim basis. It had to be a mistake, staffers reasoned. "He also is 'particularly adept, ' one administration official said, at placing blame on others in the White House when ideas he promotes do not work". That's why he has President Trump's ear on immigration policy.

But word began to spread that his nomination was being yanked. "There's no place for them to go that won't continue to break the law", said Lee Gelernt, the American Civil Liberties Union official whose lawsuit on behalf of a separated mother led to the reunifications.

The head of the United States Department of Homeland Security resigned on Sunday. Mick Mulvaney, the Office of Management and Budget director, is now the acting White House chief of staff. "... Will Close Southern Border If necessary ..." This may seem an awkward arrangement, but it's hard to see the argument that it's beyond Congress's power to prescribe, given Congress's long-recognized control over the terms and limits on acting officeholders.

The formula to get - and keep - your job within the Trump administration is now clear: Don't tell the President "no". He has just one audience: Trump, whom he has called a "political genius".

Tim Naftali, a presidential historian at NYU, raised concerns about the direction of the administration's latest moves, which he argues are about more than immigration policy.

White House lawyers Ty Cobb and John Dowd: Two of the original members of Trump's legal team focused on the Mueller report, both men repeatedly urged the President not to personally attack the special counsel.

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