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Trump berates DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen over border security
14 May 2018, 04:16 | Rufus Hill
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He declined to say whether Nielsen had been treated fairly in the meeting, saying only, "We had a good Cabinet meeting", during a brief question-and-answer session in the White House Rose Garden.
"The @nytimes article alleging that the Secretary drafted a resignation letter yesterday and was close to resigning is false", tweetedHomeland Security spokesman Tyler Houlton. Trump's confrontation was confirmed by a White House official.
Nielsen, who is a protegee of John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, has drafted a resignation letter but has not submitted it, according to two of the people.
White House Chief of Staff In In tune on immigration: White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, right, and US President Donald Trump. "We are a country of laws and the president and his administration will enforce them", she responded.
Nielsen, in a statement on Thursday, said she shared Trump's frustration that "existing loopholes and the lack of Congressional action have prevented this administration from fully securing the border and protecting the American people".
Nielsen is responsible for those 20,000 border representatives who work in Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Trump lashed out at his Cabinet, and Nielsen in particular, when told that the number of people arrested for illegally crossing the Mexico border topped 50,000 for the second consecutive month. But Nielsen stood her ground, citing the law in certain instances, the source said. But this year, they have risen again. One person close to Nielsen said she is miserable in her job.
Kelly's concerns about "integration", critics say, give away the game of Trump's broader anti-immigrant vision.
According to the New York Times' Maggie Haberman, Trump's dispute with Nielsen isn't just about policy - rather, it's part of a broader paranoid delusion about where his own DHS chief's loyalties truly lie. Another person said the president was primarily focused on the Homeland Security Department because he viewed Nielsen as primarily responsible for keeping unauthorized people out of the country. At the meeting, both Nielsen and Attorney General Jeff Sessions tried in vain to explain to Donald Trump that the federal government can not completely shut down the border. Trump went on a Twitter tear, writing that he'd told Nielsen to block the migrants from entering the U.S.
During those discussions, officials had presented Trump with a list of proposals that would help border agents crack down on people crossing the border illegally and send them back more quickly.
The hot-button issue of immigration continues to be one of the President's biggest, and most controversial, talking points. This week, the Justice Department announced that it would be prosecuting 100 percent of illegal border crossings-a decision that will involve separating more families, removing children from their parents when they are apprehended and detained.
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