Acting US Homeland Security Chief Has Resigned, Says Donald Trump

Kevin Mc Aleenan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations on Sept. 23 in Washington. Mc Aleenan stepped down on Friday

President Donald Trump announced McAleenan's resignation via Twitter on Friday evening, saying the interim cabinet official wanted to "spend more time with his family and go to the private sector".

"Congratulations Kevin, on a job well done!"

The president added that the new acting homeland security secretary would be announced next week and said he had "Many wonderful candidates" to fill the position. He quickly found himself hounded by the media and Democrats, both opposed to Trump's policies on immigration and securing the southern United States border.

A person close to McAleenan said he resigned on Friday after weeks of growing disenchantment with his standing in the administration.

The acting DHS deputy secretary is the head of the Transportation Security Administration.

Bennie Thompson, the Democratic chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, called McAleenan's exit an "ouster" and said Trump must urgently appoint a permanent replacement.

McAleenan had only been in the position since April, and was the fourth person to lead the department in two years.

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For the structure at DHS, Breitbart News exclusively reported accounts in which administration sources said McAleenan had implemented a personnel agenda that sought to protect the bureaucratic allies of former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

"He did his best as a professional public servant but those qualities are not prized in this administration", said Bersin, an assistant Homeland Security secretary for global affairs and Customs and Border Protection commissioner under Obama.

But his tenure at the helm of DHS was marked by internal squabbling and jockeying by others in his department vying for top jobs.

Thompson said Trump "has forced the Department to stray from its core counterterrorism mission to be nearly singularly focused on his xenophobic and cruel immigration agenda".

Moreover, with the numbers of undocumented immigrants apprehended or turned away at the border coming down for the fourth consecutive month - 52,546 in September, a 65% drop from May - the lack of crisis is dissuading members of Congress to act and compromise.

Mr Trump had previously threatened to fire Ms Nielsen, who was viewed as resistant to some of the harshest immigration measures supported by the President and his aides, both around the border and on other matters like protected status for some refugees. The president's signature issue makes the department his focus and his ire.

Trump in turn had questioned whether McAleenan was loyal to him.

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