Kirstjen Nielsen, the secretary of Homeland Security, is leaving her role in the Trump administration, the president announced Sunday.
Nielsen spent 16 months on the job, after taking over for former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.
Democrats were quick to respond to Nielsen’s move online. Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, tweeted that she “repeatedly called for Kirstjen Nielsen’s resignation for her lies in service of @realDonaldTrump’s abhorrent immigration policies, and I welcome her decision today.”
“History will not judge her or the president kindly,” Hirono added. “Sadly, we can expect @realDonaldTrump to nominate a permanent replacement who will also do his bidding as DHS Secretary. We must continue to speak out and remain organized and vigilant.
Hirono last year called on Nielsen, along with White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, to resign, saying the two “have sold their souls” working for Trump.
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said in a statement that Nielsen’s time at the department “was a disaster from the start.”
“It is clearer now than ever that the Trump Administration’s border security and immigration policies — that she enacted and helped craft — have been an abysmal failure and have helped create the humanitarian crisis at the border,” Thompson’s statement read. “It is truly unfortunate that Nielsen refused to take responsibility for her actions and was simply unable to lead and stand up to the President for his misguided, wall obsessed anti-immigrant agenda.”
The congressman also criticized the timing of Nielsen’s departure, noting that Homeland Security currently has neither a Senate-confirmed secretary nor a deputy secretary.
Julian Castro — who served in the Obama administration as secretary of Housing and Urban Development and is currently running for president in the 2020 election — tweeted Nielsen “has been a willing partner in the most cruel and short-sighted immigration agenda in decades.”