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Homeland chief berated, seen as close to quitting

12 May 2018

President Donald Trump berated Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen for not doing enough to secure the borders at Wednesday's Cabinet meeting, according to a source who was there.

After the tirade, the homeland security secretary reportedly drafted a resignation letter.

The report said that Nielsen told several of her colleagues that she was considering resigning because the president berated her for failures in fulfilling his promises to seal the border against illegal alien crossings.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was asked about the incident in Thursday's press briefing.

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".

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A Department of Homeland Security spokesman denied specific details of the report, including that she had already drafted a resignation letter, and that she was close to resigning.

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.

According to DHS data, there were about 30,186 total cases of foreign nationals claiming credible fear and thus requesting asylum in the US between October and December 2017 - at the same time that an amnesty for illegal aliens was being considered by Congress and President Trump's administration. "[She would] continue to direct the Department to do all we can to implement the President's security-focused agenda".

Trump reportedly railed against Nielsen on Wednesday, saying that she failed to adequately secure the U.S. border.

Illegal crossings plunged in the early phase of Trump's presidency, but have since returned to levels consistent with the last several years of the Obama administration.

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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions this week announced a new "zero-tolerance" policy toward people who enter the United States illegally that may cause more separations.

Trump has also been frustrated with Congress's refusal to fully fund his promised border wall along the nation's southern border, and some in the administration had accused DHS leaders of slow-walking more aggressive efforts to separate children from their parents at the border.

"We should fold all of the TPS people that have been here for a considerable period of time and find a way for them to be on a path to citizenship", Kelly, one of President Donald Trump's top aides, said in an interview. "She feels like she's doing the best she can and doing a good job on immigration, but she also has to follow the law", one source told the Post. The blowup lasted more than 30 minutes, according to a person with knowledge of what transpired, as Trump's face reddened and he raised his voice, saying Nielsen needed to "close down" the border.

During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump fervently pushed for immigration reform by outlining bold plans, including the construction of a massive wall stretching across the US-Mexico border.

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Homeland chief berated, seen as close to quitting