The US Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielson has resigned from her post after President Donald Trump indicated he wanted to follow a “tougher” immigration policy. Trump has accused Nielson of not being tough enough in the past.
Nielson was responsible for enforcing several of Trump’s controversial border policies, and was responsible for the proposed border wall with Mexico and the seperation of migrant families.
In recent months, illegal crossings from Central America have surged and Mr Trump has threatened to close the Mexico border. He has since backtracked and promised to give Mexico a year to stop drugs and migrants crossing into the US.
Bennie Thompson, Mississippi congressman and Chair of the Committee on Homeland Security, said Ms Nielsen’s tenure was “a disaster from the start”, while Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey calling the move “long overdue”. However, he said the fight is “far from over to ensure Trump’s assault on our immigrant community comes to an end”.
But Republican Senator Lindsey Graham praised Ms Nielsen, saying she “did her best to deal with a broken immigration system and broken Congress”. Texas Congressman Michael McCaul said she was “a principled voice” who “wholly understands the threats we face”.
President Trump insists the situation on the southern border is a crisis and has declared a national emergency, bypassing Congress to secure funds for his border wall plan. Democrats have protested against the move and declared the emergency unconstitutional.