Nielsen resigned Sunday
By Frederick H. Lowe
Kirstjen Nielsen, who resigned Sunday as Secretary of Homeland Security, performed wholly inadequately during her tenure, but President Trump also must take some of the blame for making the situation at the southern border worse, said U.S. Representative Bennie G. Thompson, chair of the Committee on Homeland Security, which has oversight of the Department of Homeland Security.
“Hampered by misstep after misstep, Kirstjen Nielsen’s tenure at the Department of Homeland Security was a disaster from the start. It is clearer now more than ever that the Trump administration’s border security and immigration policies—that she enacted and helped craft—have been an abysmal failure and have helped create a humanitarian crisis at the border. It is regrettable that Nielsen refused to take responsibility for her actions and was simply unable to lead and stand up to the President for his misguided, wall- obsessed anti-immigration agenda,” said Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi.
Thompson added, however, we cannot allow her to serve as a scapegoat for the situation at the border or for the administration’s failure.
“Let me be clear. President Trump is to blame for making the situation at the border worse. His terrible and cruel policies have broken families apart and have caused chaos in our immigration system. This is now self-evident,” Thompson said in a statement.
Nielsen resigned from her position as Secretary of Homeland Security after meeting Sunday with President Trump at the White House.
“I have determined that it is the right time for me to step aside,” Ms. Nielsen said in a resignation letter. “I hope that the next secretary will have the support of Congress and the courts in fixing the laws which have impeded our ability to secure America’s borders fully and which have contributed to discord in our nation’s discourse.”
President Trump tweeted that Kevin McAleenan, the commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, would take over as the interim replacement for Ms. Nielsen, who became the sixth secretary to lead the agency in late 2017.
Congressman Thompson said the Department of Homeland Security has over 220,000 employees that need leadership.
“The mission of the Department of Homeland Security is to secure the nation from the many threats we face. This requires the dedication of more than 240,000 employees in jobs that range from aviation and border security to emergency response, from cybersecurity analyst to chemical facility inspector. Our duties are wide-ranging, and our goal is clear – keeping America safe,” department officials said in a statement.