Published: Sat, October 12, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Donald Trump says Kevin McAleenan is out at Homeland Security

Donald Trump says Kevin McAleenan is out at Homeland Security

President Donald Trump said in a tweet Friday that acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan is stepping down.

Trump said he would announce a new acting homeland security secretary next week, and that there were "many wonderful candidates".

But the President said Mr McAleenan wanted to "spend more time with his family and go to the private sector".

McAleenan tweeted that he had worked - with the president's support - to stem the crisis and that he would help ensure a smooth transition.

Migrants arrested at the border fell to just over 52,000 in September, the final month of the 2019 fiscal year, down from more than 144,000 in May and the lowest monthly figure in one year.

Ms Nielsen was named secretary after her predecessor, John Kelly, became the White House chief of staff in 2017.

According to the Los Angeles Times, acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan is expected to be selected as McAleenan's replacement. "The President's threat of tariffs on Mexico provided McAleenan with more opportunity to engage with an historically intractable partner on border security, resulting in a precipitous decline in apprehensions along the southern border".

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His tenure was marked by internal squabbling and jockeying by others in the department vying for top jobs, all playing out against a backdrop of outrage and horror amid reports of children being held in squalid conditions and images of those who perished trying to make the trek.

And he didn't always agree with White House-pushed policies.

Sources close to McAleenan insist the decision has more to do with his feeling of having done all that he can do on the job as well as feeling the frustrations of someone who perceives his job to be non-partisan and does it from the perspective of a law enforcement officer.

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Trump, the then-acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and others said it would be a show of force that could help deter people from coming in. He later said he wasn't accusing him.

McAleenan served in the role for six months, replacing Kirstjen Nielsen, who sat at the helm of the powerful agency for 1.5 years.

"He attempted to do his job in a nonpartisan, nonpolitical way. That may be why he's no longer there", he said.

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