Trump unloads on DHS chief over immigration

Saul Bowman
May 14, 2018

According to DHS data, there were about 30,186 total cases of foreign nationals claiming credible fear and thus requesting asylum in the USA between October and December 2017 - at the same time that an amnesty for illegal aliens was being considered by Congress and President Trump's administration. Nielsen used to serve as his own top aide.

One person familiar with Trump's blowup at the meeting said it was prompted by a discussion about why Mexico was not doing more to prevent illegal border crossings into the United States. Fox News Channel, however, quoted Kelly as saying in an interview on Friday that he called Nielsen after the meeting urging her not to quit. Nielsen has made headlines in recent weeks for her announcement that any illegal immigrant caught crossing the border will be detained for prosecution, regardless of the situation.

After another meeting on Capitol Hill, Kelly later said some people who were DACA eligible but didn't sign up had reasons but most probably "needed to get off the couch". She told the president her team was doing everything it could, but the president was left unconvinced.

Haberman's tweet came in response to a tweet by fellow New York Times reporter Julie Davis, who explained that Nielsen's resignation threat had been "a long time in coming" because "Nielsen and Trump have clashed often and she has been a frequent target of his freewheeling immigration rants".

The department pushed back against that characterization. Two senior White House officials described Nielsen as upset after the meeting, but said they were unaware of such a letter or threats to resign. "[She would] continue to direct the Department to do all we can to implement the President's security-focused agenda". "Sessions sold her down the river", the source said. She said Trump was "rightly frustrated that existing loopholes and the lack of congressional action have prevented this administration from fully securing the border". I share his frustration. "We are a country of laws and the president and his administration will enforce them'". The Times report claimed that she was "miserable" in her job according to a "person close to Ms. Nielsen".

The White House declined specific comment on whether Trump berated Nielsen, her assumed resignation letter and on whether Trump maintained confidence in Nielsen, who shot at DHS in December.

The Trump administration, under U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, has moved to revoke this special status and to expel tens of thousands of protected immigrants. At the meeting, both Nielsen and Attorney General Jeff Sessions tried in vain to explain to Donald Trump that the federal government can not completely shut down the border. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose private conversations.

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