Why Trump’s Fourth Secretary of Homeland Security Just Resigned

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  • #182689

    • Total Posts: 1,440


    When Kevin McAleenan became the acting Secretary of Homeland Security, in April, a D.H.S. official, who knew McAleenan personally, told me, “I’m not sure how he can finesse things with this Administration.” Donald Trump had just fired Kirstjen Nielsen, a former official in the George W. Bush Administration, despite the fact that she had championed some of the Trump Administration’s harshest immigration policies, including family separation. McAleenan, who had served in the Obama Administration, was widely regarded as a Democrat. He publicly opposed Trump’s decision, earlier that spring, to cut aid to Central America, and was taking over the Department at a moment when more than a hundred thousand migrants were being apprehended at the border in a single month. On Friday, after six months in the post, McAleenan resigned, becoming one of the shortest-serving secretaries in the department’s history. And yet, according to three people with knowledge of McAleenan’s thinking, the Secretary had somehow managed to leave the Trump Administration mostly on his own terms. The reasoning behind the decision, one of them told me, “was sixty per cent because he had achieved the mission objectives, and forty per cent because he had to avoid being branded as Trump’s border cop.”

    McAleenan’s primary goal was reducing immigration to the U.S., which aligned him with the White House. But, unlike Trump or his chief adviser, Stephen Miller, McAleenan was never an anti-immigration ideologue. He is a technocrat and an institutionalist who had spent much of his career at Customs and Border Protection, a D.H.S. sub-agency. In his view, mass migration was a humanitarian crisis which threatened to overtake both D.H.S. resources and the asylum system writ large. It was a problem, he once told me, that partisan Washington was unable to address. At the same time, according to another department official close to him, McAleenan saw Trump’s election as proof that an unsolved immigration crisis could carry dangerous political consequences.

    I feel much better since I gave up hope.

    "If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace." – John Lennon

  • #182693

    • Total Posts: 6,762
  • #182707

    • Total Posts: 2,323

    I’ve heard that Lt. Kije might be available for the position.


    (If you don’t know the tale of Lt. Kije and how he dealt with the tsar’s wrath, you really should check out this classic from 1934:

    with music by Prokofiev)

  • #183215

    Ohio Barbarian
    • Total Posts: 12,769

    I nominate Captain Simcoe:

    It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

    If Democrats don’t stand for the people, why should people stand for them?--Jim Hightower

  • #185386

    • Total Posts: 286

    I nominate Col. Klink

    American living abroad in South Korea and a proud progressive.

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