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Trump blames his Homeland Security chief for illegal immigration

Trump blames his Homeland Security chief for illegal immigration

In response to Newsweek's request for comment, DHS press secretary Tyler Q. Houlton cited a Thursday afternoon tweet from his office, calling the Times story false.

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, left, speaks with senior White House adviser Jared Kushner at an event where Melania Trump spoke in the Rose Garden of the White House, May 7, 2018.

One White House official said Nielsen was in the building again Thursday.

Trump's hard line against illegal immigration is a centerpiece of his presidency as he pursues an "America First" agenda that includes a proposed wall along the U.S. -Mexico border, saying it was needed to stem the flow of immigrants and drug trafficking.

Trump, she told the Times, is "rightly frustrated that existing loopholes and the lack of congressional action have prevented this administration from fully securing the border".

Trump, who has grown increasingly frustrated by a spike in border apprehensions and legal setbacks, blamed Nielsen Wednesday for failing to do enough to stop them, according to people familiar with the exchange.

Trump lashed out at his Cabinet, and Nielsen in particular, when told that the number of people arrested for illegally crossing the Mexico border topped 50,000 for the second consecutive month. In a Thursday statement, Nielsen reiterated her commitment to securing the country's porous borders, especially those along the Mexican border.

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Nielsen also released a statement in wake of the incident where she said she shared the president's frustrations but didn't exactly deny the fact she penned her resignation.

Hard-liners on immigration say Mr. Trump's anger is partly explained by a suspicion inside the West Wing that Ms. Nielsen, who served on the Homeland Security Council in the George W. Bush administration, is not sufficiently committed to Mr. Trump's agenda of tougher immigration policies.

The Post's account, headlined "Trump unloads on Homeland Security secretary in lengthy immigration tirade", adds the details that "Trump's tirade went on so long that many present began fidgeting in their seats and flashing grimaces", and that it lasted more than 30 minutes. The Times report claimed that she was "miserable" in her job according to a "person close to Ms. Nielsen". More recently, however, those numbers have climbed back toward the level they were in the final years of the Obama administration-an intolerable equivalence for Trump.

Trump has clashed with Nielsen for weeks.

Kelly said that while most illegal immigrants "are not bad people. they're also not people that would easily assimilate" into modern American society.

Trump believes Nielsen and other DHS officials are resisting directives that parents be separated from their children when families cross illegally into the United States, to deter them from entering, the newspaper said, citing the officials.


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