The president announced Sunday the U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner will take over as acting head of the Department of Homeland Security.
Trump said Kevin McAleenan, the current commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, would serve as acting secretary. Nielsen claimed in a White House briefing past year that the administration was merely continuing a policy from "previous administrations" that mandates separating a child who is "in danger, there is no custodial relationship between "family" members, or if the adult has broken the law".
Speaking with CNN's Ana Cabrera, Boris Sanchez reported the DHS Secretary was forced out.
This is a developing story. DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen reportedly met with President Donald Trump around 5 p.m. He has become increasingly frustrated at rising levels of illegal immigration and the failure of his core 2016 campaign pledge for Mexico to fund a wall along the border. "Will Close Southern Border If necessary." he tweeted Sunday evening.
Most notably, however, she has become the face of the Trump administration's fierce anti-immigration policy.
Nielsen has spearheaded the administration's efforts to crack down on illegal immigration, and joined President Trump in a visit to California to inspect the newly built sections of the U.S. -Mexico border fence over the weekend.
Nielsen dutifully pushed Trump's immigration policies, including funding for his border wall, and defended the administration's practice of separating children from parents.
Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama, the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, acknowledged Nielsen's challenges in a statement and expressed confidence in McAleenan and whomever the President nominated later.
Another senior administration official said Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, after a blowup with Nielsen late previous year, also recommended to Trump that she should go.
On Friday Mr. Trump withdrew his nomination for Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, Ronald Vitiello, saying he wanted someone "tougher" for the role.
The move came about a week after she had blasted a letter to Congress pleading that they allocate funds to increase the number of beds at existing immigrant detention centers, as well as expand the number of temporary shelters. There she echoed Mr Trump's comments on the situation at the border.