Acting Department of Homeland Security head Kevin McAleenan is stepping down to move to the private sector. President Donald Trump said Friday that he will announce McAleenan’s replacement next week and praised him for doing an “outstanding job.”
“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…,” Trump tweeted.
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
“Congratulations Kevin, on a job well done,” Trump continued. “I will be announcing the new Acting Secretary next week. Many wonderful candidates!”
McAleenan defiance a factor in departure
Despite Trump’s praise, McAleenan has been a frequent detractor from Trump’s immigration policies and has openly defied Trump’s directions on more than one instance.
McAleenan was accused in June of leaking planned ICE raids in order to sabotage them. The raids, which involved the arrest of hundreds of immigrants already scheduled for deportation, had to be canceled.
Last month, the New York Times reported that McAleenan was accused of telling federal immigration officials to ignore Trump’s orders at the U.S.-Mexico border.
He also gave an interview to the Washington Post attacking Trump’s zero-tolerance policy at the southern border and refusing to call those crossing the border “illegal aliens.”
In short, McAleenan was not the sort of person Trump needed working at DHS when he’s already got the Democrat majority in the House and several lower courts and appeals courts working against his efforts to stop illegal immigrants from streaming across the border by the hundreds of thousands.
Will help with transition
McAleenan said that he would help the White House and DHS so that there would be a smooth transition. “With [Trump’s] support, over the last 6 months, we have made tremendous progress mitigating the border security and humanitarian crisis we faced this year,” McAleenan stated.
Unfortunately, Trump didn’t seem to have support from his DHS head in those efforts. How did McAleenan think the administration was going to get the numbers down without making some difficult and unpopular opinions?
Border crossings are down about 50% from an all-time high earlier this year. Trump has worked to change the rules concerning how asylum claims are processed, including making agreements with countries like Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador that prevent asylum-seekers from simply passing straight through them to the United States.
It’s pretty sad that Trump seems to have to do not only his own job, but the jobs of some of his cabinet members and other administration officials because they’re too worried about what Democrats will think or because they don’t really share Trump and other Republicans’ beliefs about immigration and the importance of border security.