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Kirstjen Nielsen Makes First Remarks Since Resignation

Former DHS chief thanks Trump, says she supports his goal of secure border
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2019 1:47 PM CDT
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen talks outside her home in Alexandria, Va., on Thursday, April 8, 2019.   (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)
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(Newser) – If Kirstjen Nielsen has any animosity after her abrupt resignation as Homeland Security chief, she didn't let it show in her first public comments since the news broke. "I just want to thank the president again for the tremendous opportunity to serve this country," Nielsen told reporters Monday, per CBS News. She reiterated her view that a "humanitarian and security crisis" is unfolding on the southern border, adding, "I share the president's goal of a secure border." Nielsen's resignation takes effect on Wednesday, and US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan will take over on an interim basis.

Nielsen didn't elaborate on her reasons for quitting. One widely reported theory is that it's part of a White House push to get tougher on immigration, with Stephen Miller leading the charge. Here is how the AP frames it, based on discussions with three sources familiar with her decision: "Nielsen had grown increasingly frustrated by what she saw as a lack of support from other departments and increased meddling by Trump aides on difficult immigration issues." One of those issues might have been the separation of families at the border: NBC News reports that Trump wants to reinstate the practice, but Nielsen had been resisting. (Read more Kirstjen Nielsen stories.)

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