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Homeland chief berated, seen as close to quitting

14 May 2018
Homeland chief berated, seen as close to quitting

According to the story, which broke the news of the harangue, Trump's abuse of his Homeland Security director "was part of a lengthy tirade in which the president railed at his cabinet about what he said was its lack of progress toward sealing the country's borders against illegal immigrants". The Times reported two of them said Nielsen had drafted a resignation letter but had not submitted it. DHS spokesperson Tyler Houlton said the Times reporting that Nielsen had drafted a resignation letter and was close to resigning is false. Trump's confrontation was confirmed by a White House official. Nielsen was tapped to be secretary after serving with current White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly. Along with the some 700,000 Dreamers brought to the USA illegally as children, who Trump stripped of protection in September, about one million people who were once legal residents in the country face potential deportation. "We are a country of laws and the president and his administration will enforce them", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement on Thursday.

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".

Trump's entire cabinet reportedly bore witness to the scolding, which the Times says made up just a portion of a long rant about how the administration on the whole was falling short of its stated goal to tighten border security and curb illegal immigration.

Nielsen did not deny the meeting had grown heated in a statement Thursday evening, but said she shared the president's frustrations.

Kelly's concerns about "integration", critics say, give away the game of Trump's broader anti-immigrant vision. A number of unnamed advisers told the outlet that she was a "never-Trumper" who does not stand behind Trump's agenda. One person close to Nielsen said she is miserable in her job. 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. Another person said the president was primarily focused on the Homeland Security Department because he viewed Nielsen as primarily responsible for keeping unauthorized people out of the country. Nielsen recently worked with state governors to send contingents of National Guard troops to help secure the border after Trump called for them to do so.

Kelly said that while most illegal immigrants "are not bad people. they're also not people that would easily assimilate" into modern American society.

One persistent issue has been Trump's belief that Nielsen and other officials in the department were resisting his direction that parents should be separated from their children when families cross illegally into the United States, several officials said.