Monday, 14 October, 2019

Trump announces acting Homeland Security Secretary McAleenan to leave post

Evan Vucci  AP FILE Evan Vucci AP FILE
Steven Clarke | 12 October, 2019, 12:26

President Donald Trump has announced that acting U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan is stepping down, some six months after he assumed the role following the previous chief's departure.

In a tweet, President Donald Trump said Mr McAleenan wanted to spend more time with his family.

President Trump said he would announce McAleenan's replacement next week. "Many wonderful candidates!" he added. I will be announcing the new Acting Secretary next week. Trump hasn't named anyone to the job yet - the acting deputy is David Pekoske, the head of the Transportation Security Administration. In a letter to Congress obtained by ABC News expressing "enthusiastic support" for McAleenan's nomination to lead U.S. Customs and Border Protection, officials from both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations called McAleenan "supremely qualified".

A source familiar with McAleenan's thinking tells CNN that the acting secretary felt he had accomplished all he could given the political realities of today - specifically the unlikelihood that any legislative deal on immigration will happen in an election year. "The President's threat of tariffs on Mexico provided McAleenan with more opportunity to engage with an historically intractable partner on border security, resulting in a precipitous decline in apprehensions along the southern border".

Rebekah Vardy reveals Coleen Rooney BLOCKED her months ago before public spat
Regardless of whether she did or she didn't sell the stories, Rebekah has said she has received a disgusting torrent of abuse. She said to me: 'I'm not pointing the finger" and I said: 'You have just annihilated me in public and hung me out to dry.

Alan Bersin, who worked closely with McAleenan in the Obama administration, said he did his job effectively in three administrations, Republican and Democrat, but was done in by a polarizing environment and lack of White House support.

Thompson said Trump "has forced the Department to stray from its core counterterrorism mission to be nearly singularly focused on his xenophobic and cruel immigration agenda".

McAleenan weathered the storm, but Mark Morgan, acting head of CBP, and Ken Cuccinelli, acting head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, vocal supporters of Trump's immigration policies, have since then become the face and mouth of the department, while McAleenan took a public back seat.

Migrants arrested at the border fell to just over 52,000 in September, the final month of the 2019 fiscal year, down from more than 144,000 in May and the lowest monthly figure in one year.

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