Nielsen says she still supports Trump’s border goals

first_imgWASHINGTON — Kirstjen Nielsen said Monday she still shares President Donald Trump’s goal of securing the border, a day after she resigned as Homeland Security secretary amid Trump’s frustration and bitterness over a spike in Central American migration.Trump announced on Sunday in a tweet that U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan would be taking over as acting head of the department. The decision to name a top immigration officer to the post reflects Trump’s priority for the sprawling department founded to combat terrorism following the Sept. 11 attacks.Nielsen had traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border on Friday with Trump to participate in a roundtable with border officers and local law enforcement. There she echoed Trump’s comments on the situation at the border, though she ducked out of the room while Trump spoke. As they toured a section of newly rebuilt barriers, Nielsen was at Trump’s side, introducing him to local officials. She returned to Washington afterward as Trump continued on a fundraising trip to California and Nevada.But on Sunday, she wrote in her resignation letter that “it is the right time for me to step aside.” She wrote that she hoped “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.”Nielsen told reporters outside her Alexandria, Virginia home Monday that she continues to support the president’s goal of securing the border.“I will continue to support all efforts to address the humanitarian and security crisis on the border,” she said in her first public remarks since the surprise resignation, thanking the president “for the tremendous opportunity to serve this country.”last_img

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