President Donald Trump announced Friday that Kevin McAleenan will be leaving as acting director of Homeland Security after a six-month stint in which he dealt with an unprecedented influx of asylum-seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Trump said he will be naming a replacement in the coming week.
Trump did not explain the decision, but McAleenan seemed to criticize the administration in an interview with The Washington Post on Oct. 1.
“What I don’t have control over is the tone, the message, the public face and approach of the department in an increasingly polarized time,” McAleenan told WaPo. “That’s uncomfortable, as the accountable, senior figure.”
Kevin McAleenan has done an outstanding job as Acting Secretary of Homeland Security. We have worked well together with Border Crossings being way down. Kevin now, after many years in Government, wants to spend more time with his family and go to the private sector….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 11, 2019
Immigration protesters heckled McAleenan off stage Monday at an event at Georgetown University. The incident highlighted how much pressure McAleenan has faced from both sides of the immigration fight.
He has had to fulfill Trump’s campaign promise to curtail illegal immigration and build a wall along the southern border, with Democrats’ shift in favor of more lenient immigration policies.
Some Trump administration officials and immigration hawks pushed for McAleenan’s ouster over the summer, saying that he was too soft on illegal immigration.
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