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DHS's Nielsen Almost Quit After Trump Border Rant

14 May 2018

At the meeting, both Nielsen and Attorney General Jeff Sessions tried in vain to explain to Donald Trump that the federal government can not completely shut down the border. A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security described the Times report as "false".

Kelly said most illegal immigrants in the United States today "are not bad people. but they're also not people that would easily assimilate" because they are poorly educated. Trump went on a Twitter tear, writing that he'd told Nielsen to block the migrants from entering the U.S.

"I share his frustration", Nielsen's statement said.

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What Trump didn't note when conveying those orders, however, is that the USA has a domestic and global legal obligation to process any immigrant who comes to its borders seeking asylum. "The Secretary is hard at work today on the President's security-focused agenda".

Trump has growing increasingly angry about his inability to secure the border and has repeatedly called on Congress to pass new legislation to strengthen what he calls the nation's "horrible" immigration laws.

Administration officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to provide a candid account of the private meeting.

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The president's eruption was witnessed by Cabinet members plus a number of senior White House officials - including counselor Kellyanne Conway, advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, immigration adviser Stephen Miller and chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke did the same in November, according to the Washington Post, over White House chief of staff John Kelly reportedly pressuring her to end temporary protected status for undocumented Hondurans living in the United States.

Trump has pursued his crackdown on legal and illegal immigration since becoming president, promising to strengthen the nation's borders and to build a wall along the US-Mexico border. "Another person said the president was primarily focused on the homeland security department because he views Ms. Nielsen as primarily responsible for keeping illegal immigrants out of the country".

Homeland Security's deputy secretary position is vacant, so there would be no immediate replacement if Nielsen were to step down. In her written testimony for the Senate Judiciary Committee, Nielsen highlighted the need for asylum reform, and suggested that DHS "impose and enforce penalies for fraud" in credible fear interviews, the first step in the long, bureaucratic process of seeking asylum.

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Trump, she told the Times, is "rightly frustrated that existing loopholes and the lack of congressional action have prevented this administration from fully securing the border".

DHS's Nielsen Almost Quit After Trump Border Rant