Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan Resigns

Kevin Mc Aleenan speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations on Sept. 23 in Washington. Mc Aleenan stepped down on Friday

President Donald Trump tweeted out McAleenan's departure on Friday evening, commending the DHS official for bringing US-Mexico border crossings "way down", before attributing his departure to the classic political excuse that he "wants to spend more time with his family".

Kevin, on a job well done!

The announcement has been planned for weeks, sources close to McAleenan say, and has nothing to do with the Ukraine scandal in which Trump and several other Cabinet officials are now enmeshed.

"With his [Trump's] support, over the last six months we have made tremendous progress mitigating the border security and humanitarian crisis we faced this year, by reducing unlawful crossings, partnering with governments in the region to counter human smugglers and [addressing] the causes of migration, and [deploying] additional border security resources", he said.

A former DHS official said McAleenan understood the urgency of the situation.

His tenure played out against a backdrop of outrage amid reports of children being held in squalid conditions on the United States border and images of those who died trying to make the trek from Central America.

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.


Ms Nielsen was named secretary after her predecessor, John Kelly, became the White House chief of staff in 2017.

In the interim, Trump surrounded McAleenan with immigration hard-liners like Cuccinelli and Morgan, who support the president's more nativist approach.

Christopher Wilson, deputy director of the Wilson Center's Mexico Institute in Washington said people are questioning what McAleenan stands for, "questioning why he went along with the Trump administration and some of the things they did, but I believe he was a professional", he said.

The 240,000-person department is tasked with election security and cybersecurity, disaster response and even the Secret Service. "Many wonderful candidates", he said.

In a series of posts, Trump announced that he would be replacing McAleenan next week after the former Customs and Border Protection Commissioner had served as head of DHS since April.

Homeland Security has been the cabinet post with the highest turnover in the Trump administration at this point.

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