Trump blames his Homeland Security chief for illegal immigration

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen testifies during a hearing held by the Senate Judiciary Committee

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. The Times report claimed that she was "miserable" in her job according to a "person close to Ms. Nielsen". "Why don't you have solutions?" How is this still happening?" he said, adding later, "We need to shut it down. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose private conversations. Trump's confrontation was confirmed by a White House official. Eventually, the topic moved on to health care, bringing relief to many in the room.

According to The New York Times, the president complained his administration has to do more on border security.

In testimony to a congressional committee on Tuesday, the day before the president's tirade at the cabinet meeting, Ms. Nielsen urged people seeking asylum to present themselves at United States ports of entry rather than trying to sneak into the country. "Sessions sold her down the river", the source said.

Nielsen, one person said, tried to explain the issues were complex and that the department's powers were limited by a slew of legal restrictions.

A report from the New York Times claimed that Nielsen even wrote a letter of resignation after the outburst, but has not submitted it. Nielsen was tapped to be secretary after serving with current White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly. "I share his frustration", she said. "It's frustrating to have your boss unhappy about that".

Trump was furious with Nielsen, telling her he didn't think she was doing enough to secure the border.

Trump's entire cabinet reportedly bore witness to the scolding, which the Times says made up just a portion of a long rant about how the administration on the whole was falling short of its stated goal to tighten border security and curb illegal immigration. Families are typically broken up in those circumstances, as federal immigration agents send children to government shelters while their mothers and fathers remain in custody awaiting court dates.

During the meeting, Trump yelled about the United States' porous border and said more needed to be done to fix it. "We are a country of laws and the president and his administration will enforce them", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement on Thursday.

Illegal crossings plunged in the early phase of Trump's presidency, but have since returned to levels consistent with the last several years of the Obama administration.

Despite two officials confirming the report that Nielsen had drafted a resignation letter, a spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security spokesman denied the report, stating that Nielsen was back at work and working hard to serve the country in her duties as overseeing immigration enforcement and border security.

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