Homeland Security Dept Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigns

Washington: Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has stepped down from her post, President Donald Trump announced on Sunday (local time).

Trump said that US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan will replace Nielsen as the acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary.

“Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen will be leaving her position, and I would like to thank her for her service,” Trump wrote on his Twitter handle.

“I am pleased to announce that Kevin McAleenan, the current U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, will become Acting Secretary for @DHSgov. I have confidence that Kevin will do a great job!” read another tweet by Trump.

Nielsen, who was appointed as the Secretary of the Homeland Security Department in December 2017, oversaw the Trump administration’s works on immigration enforcement, disaster relief, election security and cybersecurity, according to The Hill.

She had replaced John Kelly, who vacated the post to serve as White House chief of staff. However, Kelly resigned from his post at the end of 2018.

Nielsen’s resignation came after the Washington Post had reported in November last year that the 46-year-old was on the verge of being fired by Trump, according to several White House officials.

It also came after several media reports had suggested that she would put down her papers during a meeting with Trump at the White House in the evening.

Reportedly, Trump was at loggerheads with Nielsen over the implementation of immigration laws.

The development comes as Trump is pushing for a barricade to be built along the US-Mexico border, which according to him, would stop smuggling of drugs and prevent infiltration of migrants into the US.

For his wall to be built, Trump has declared a national emergency, where he can fund the barricade by bypassing the US Congress and using military funds.