President Donald Trump announced Sunday that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen had resigned her post. NPR’s Southwest Correspondent John Burnett says Nielsen has been rumored to be on the way out for some time.
“Trump has been more and more frustrated by – he blames her for not being able to control the border, to stop this historic wave of Central American families and unaccompanied kids that are streaming across,” Burnett says.
Burnett thinks the U.S. could be on the verge of another of Trump’s “get tough” policies.
“[Nielsen] apparently was never aggressive enough for this president,” Burnett says.
Nielsen’s resignation came just days after Trump withdrew his nomination for former U.S. Border Patrol Chief Ron Vitiello to lead U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“I think the president is in one of his border tantrums and he wants – he wants change there, he wants there to be more aggressive policy to stop these immigrants from coming across illegally to ask for asylum,” Burnett says.
A top immigration official – U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner Kevin McAleenan – will now lead the Department of Homeland Security, but former Texas Gov. and current Secretary of Energy Rick Perry is reportedly being considered as a permanent replacement for Nielsen.
“When Rick Perry was governor, he had consequential policy down at the border,” Burnett says. “We remember that he was the one who created, you know, the Texas Border Patrol. He sent DPS troopers down there to augment the federal agents – very controversial.”