President Trump announced Sunday afternoon that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen “will be leaving her position” after 16 months in the job.
Trump also announced that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Kevin McAleenan will replace Nielsen, tweeting: “I have confidence that Kevin will do a great job!”
Nielsen met with Trump at the White House Sunday amid an ongoing influx of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border that has been taxing America’s immigration system and sparking frustration within the White House.
On Friday, Trump confirmed he had withdrawn the nomination of acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Ron Vitiello to become the permanent head of the agency, telling reporters that “Ron’s a good man, but we’re going in a tougher direction, we want to go in a tougher direction.”
Nielsen skipped last week’s meeting of interior ministers from the Group of Seven in Paris to deal with the migration crisis, which she has compared to the aftermath of a Category 5 hurricane.
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She also has taken to social media in recent days, tweeting that Congress must give border and immigration officials the tools and resources needed to “fulfill our humanitarian and security mission.”
She visited El Paso, Texas, on Wednesday, marking her first stop on a border tour aimed at assessing the surge of migrants and the department’s response. “Our system and facilities were never structured to withstand the current influx of immigrants,” she said.
Trump nominated McAleenan as CBP commissioner on the first day of his presidency, but McAleenan was not sworn in until March of 2018. He was previously appointed CBP deputy commissioner in November 2014 by President Barack Obama.
This is a developing story; check back for more updates. Fox News’ John Roberts and The Associated Press contributed to this report.