DHS Overhaul As Secretary Nielsen Resigns
DHS Overhaul As Secretary Nielsen Resigns
There has been a major shakeup at the Department of Homeland Security. DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has resigned.
CBS broke the news yesterday afternoon that the DHS secretary was going to resign. Was this voluntary, or did President Trump ask for her resignation? Does it matter? Her resignation is effective immediately, so you make the call.
Its been an honor of a lifetime to serve with the brave men and women of @DHSgov. I could not be prouder of and more humbled by their service, dedication, and commitment to keep our country safe from all threats and hazards. pic.twitter.com/lIQ5iqGDmF
— Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen (@SecNielsen) April 7, 2019
Nielsen’s resignation letter does not give any clues as to whose idea this was, and exemplifies quite a lot of dignity and class.
I hereby resign from the position of Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), effective April 7th 2019. It has been my great honor to lead the men and women of the Department as its sixth Secretary. I could not be prouder of and more humbled by their service, dedication, and commitment to keep our country safe from all threats and hazards. I join all Americans in thanking them for their sacrifices and those of their families.”
For more than two years of service beginning during the Presidential Transition, I have worked tirelessly to advance the goals and missions of the Department. I am immensely proud of our successes in transforming DHS to keep pace with our enemies and adversaries — whether it is in cyberspace or against emerging threats from new technologies.”
Despite our progress in reforming homeland security for a new age, I have determined that it is the right time for me to step aside. I hope that the next Secretary will have the support of Congress and the courts in fixing the laws which have impeded our ability to fully secure America’s borders and which have contributed to discord in our nation’s discourse. Our country – and the men and women of DHS – deserve to have all the tools and resources they need to execute the mission entrusted to them.”
President Trump thanked Nielsen for her service, and immediately named Kevin McAleenan as the new acting DHS secretary.
….I am pleased to announce that Kevin McAleenan, the current U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, will become Acting Secretary for @DHSgov. I have confidence that Kevin will do a great job!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 7, 2019
I think we can all agree that now-former Secretary Nielsen has had a thankless job (and left-wing groups are now threatening to punish her in any future positions – how charming). Her major background was in cybersecurity, and she clearly put a lot of effort into that part of her role at DHS. However, the southern border is in undeniable crisis, and part of her job is to try and make the case to both Congress and the American people that action must be taken to lock down the border. She didn’t manange to make any headway with Congress – but to be fair, neither has the president when it comes to getting a border wall funded and built. Still, he’s the boss, and all reports indicate that the president was unhappy. When the boss is unhappy, it’s time for a change, whether it is warranted or not.
So who is Kevin McAleenan? He’s the current commissioner of Customs and Border Protection. Just a little over a week ago, he was at the border giving a press conference about the current crisis. He’s also an Obama administration holdover – though considering that he just handed out some brutal stats on unaccompanied minors and talked about the need to send them back to their home countries, his status as a holdover isn’t going to help him much.
McAleenan is a longtime border officer, reflecting Trump’s priority for the department initially founded to combat terrorism after the Sept. 11 attacks. Fox News is told Trump wanted the “toughest cop” around on border security, and McAleenan fit the bill.”
Administration sources tell Fox News that McAleenan needs to be able to handle the politics involved and change minds on Capitol Hill before he could be seen as potentially taking the job of DHS secretary permanently.”
Last month, McAleenan, who as head of CBP was the nation’s top border security official, said the border crisis was at its “breaking point” during a visit to Texas. He reiterated that there are not enough agents to respond.”
“That breaking point has arrived this week at our border,” McAleenan said along the border. “CBP is facing an unprecedented humanitarian and border security crisis all along our Southwest border, and nowhere has that crisis manifested more acutely than here in El Paso.”
Is McAleenan up to the politics of the job? He’s certainly more than aware of what the hell is going on at ground level. Can he convince Congress of those realities? And once he sees how the Democrats want to continue to use border security as a political football, will he want the job?
DHS is a mess. Let’s hope McAleenan is up to the challenge to get a handle on this situation.
Featured image: now-former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (official photo, DHS website, public domain)