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Trump berates DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen over border security

14 May, 2018, 04:16 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Kirstjen Nielsen

A spokesperson from Nielsen's office denied the existence of such a letter to the Times, and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told the outlet that "the president is committed to fixing our broken immigration system and our porous borders" when asked to comment on the content of the Wednesday meeting.

Tyler Houlton, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security, disputed that Nielsen had drafted a resignation letter and was close to resigning, calling those assertions "false".

A White House source, who requested to be anonymous, confirmed the incident and said the argument was "heated and angry".

One White House official said Nielsen was in the building again Thursday.

White House Chief of Staff In In tune on immigration: White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, right, and US President Donald Trump.

White House chief of staff John Kelly said he believes the vast majority of undocumented immigrants crossing the southern border into the USA do not assimilate well because they are poorly educated. Nielsen issued her own statement Thursday evening saying the president is justifiably frustrated but that she is staying on the job.

Critics, citing the nation's history of immigration, say Trump's policies are hostile to vulnerable people who work in the fast food, hospitality, child care and agriculture sectors, often for low wages.

Nielsen in a statement on Thursday, said she shared Trump's frustration that "active Loop Holes and the lack of Allied actions have prevented this government out of fully procuring the border and shielding the American folks".




Kelly told Fox News Friday that after Thursday's cabinet meeting, he phoned Nielsen to implore her not to quit.

One person close to Nielsen said she is unlikely to resign.

Trump's advisers have been increasingly criticizing the Homeland Security chief in private conversations with the president, arguing that she isn't doing enough to improve border security and noting that she wasn't a vocal Trump supporter during the campaign, three people familiar with the internal discussions told POLITICO.

In Sept. 2017, the president openly expressed disdain over Sessions' decision to recuse himself from all investigations relating to Russian Federation and even said he would have chosen another person for the job had he known Sessions would make that decision. She had even gone so far as to draft a resignation letter, according to the Times.

Trump has let his frustration surrounding immigration issues be known to the public, especially recently, as a caravan of about 150 migrants from Central America made its way to the southern border.

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

Trump believes Nielsen and other DHS officials are resisting directives that parents be separated from their children when families cross illegally into the United States, to deter them from entering, the newspaper said, citing the officials.

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