Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s resignation was partly fueled by her resistance to implementing a large-scale policy of separating immigrant families at the border, NBC News reports.
President Donald Trump has spent the last several months pushing his administration to crack down on migrant families, despite issuing an executive order in June ending the family separation policy. Sources told NBC that Trump has pushed for the policy’s reinstatement since last January, after seeing an increase in illegal border crossings.
Trump announced Nielsen’s resignationn Sunday.
“I have determined that it is the right time for me to step aside,” Nielsen wrote in her resignation letter to Trump, according to The New York Times. “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 fully secure America’s borders and which have contributed to discord in our nation’s discourse.”
The president railed against immigration last week, saying that the “country is full,” and demanding that Mexico do more to curb illegal immigration.
Trump said Sunday that Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan will take over as Acting Secretary in Nielsen’s stead, although Claire Grady, the undersecretary for management, is technically next in line for the post.