Acting Secretary of Homeland Stepping Down, Trump Confirms

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President Trump said late Friday that he was replacing Kevin McAleenan, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, after a tenure where McAleenan lowered border crossings but clashed with other senior immigration officials and struggled to earn the trust of the president. "Kevin now, after many years in Government, wants to spend more time with his family and go to the private sector", the president tweeted.

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan holds a news conference in June. He tweeted he has "wonderful candidates" to fill the position.

McAleenan's exit came after he told The Washington Post that he did not feel in control of his department, as news reports said he was discouraged by his standing in the Trump administration.

Mr McAleenan thanked the President for his support and, wrote on Twitter he would work with the Department of Homeland Security on a smooth transition. We have worked well together with Border Crossings being way down. I will be announcing the new Acting Secretary next week. But he said McAleenan remains a poor fit to lead DHS.

And he brokered major agreements with Central American countries on asylum and border security - something others were unable to do.

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McAleenan is also proud of having pushed DHS to declare unequivocally that white supremacists pose a growing threat to the American people, a statement the White House previously refused to make in as stark a way, the source close to the acting secretary said.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said this week that arrests at the U.S. -Mexico border fell in September for the fourth month in the row.

Homeland Security has been the cabinet post with the highest turnover in the Trump administration at this point. "The President's threat of tariffs on Mexico provided McAleenan with more opportunity to engage with an historically intractable partner on border security, resulting in a precipitous decline in apprehensions along the southern border".

McAleenan weathered the storm, but Mark Morgan, acting head of CBP, and Ken Cuccinelli, acting head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, vocal supporters of Trump's immigration policies, have since then become the face and mouth of the department, while McAleenan took a public back seat.

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