Homeland secretary Kirstjen Nielsen stepping down, Trump says

Trump said "Kevin McAleenan, the current U. S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, will become Acting Secretary" of DHS.

Democrats spared no sympathy for Nielsen in her departure.

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

"It is deeply alarming that the Trump Administration official who put children in cages is reportedly resigning because she is not extreme enough for the White House's liking", House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a written statement.

Central American migrants turn themselves in to U.S. Border Patrol as they seek asylum after illegally crossing the Rio Grande near Penitas, Texas, U.S., April 6, 2019.

Trump was so frustrated about the increase that he announced he would cut off USA aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

It remains unclear whether Nielsen has made a decision to leave voluntary, or whether she has been pressured to resign.

Trump has previously criticized Nielsen for insufficient firmness, telling reporters last November that she needed to get "much tougher" on the border.

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Politico reports that Miller has been "telephoning mid-level officials at several federal departments and agencies to angrily demand that they do more to stem the flow of immigrants into the country".

"Ron's a good man ... but we're going in a tougher direction", Trump announced on Friday.

Kelly resigned as chief of staff on January 2 amid reports of a strained relationship with Trump.

Though Trump aides were eyeing a staff shake-up at Homeland Security and had already withdrawn the nomination for another key immigration post, the development Sunday was unexpected.

ICE is under the jurisdiction of DHS, which was formed following the September 11, 2001, attacks on NY and Washington. The announcement of her departure came shortly after the meeting. The Associated Press, citing two sources, reported that Nielsen had been frustrated with the difficulty of getting other departments to help deal with the growing number of families crossing the southwestern border.

After domestic and worldwide criticism, Trump signed an executive order in June ending family separations, but a government report last month showed that more than 200 children had been taken from their families since that time.

Last summer, as images were broadcast of wailing children being wrested from their parents under the administration's practice of separating families, she took to the White House podium to defend the "zero tolerance" approach, becoming the face of a policy that was decried the world over.

The meeting was taking place amid an ongoing influx of migrants at the U.S. -Mexico border that has been taxing America's immigration system and sparking frustration within the White House. During testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in December 2018, McAleenan said he thought it was "remarkable that agents were able to resolve the situation without any serious injuries or a breach of the border".

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