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US Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, McAleenan, Resigns: Trump

WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump said Friday that Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan is stepping down and a new acting chief of the agency will be appointed next week, Reuters reported Saturday.
McAleenan became the fourth person to head the agency under Trump in April, after the Republican president called for the resignation of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
Prior to becoming Acting Secretary, McAleenan served as US Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, one of the agencies reporting to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
“Now Kevin, after several years in government, wants to spend more time with his family and go into the private sector,” Trump told Twitter.
“I will announce the new Acting Secretary next week. A lot of great candidates,” he said.
Trump, who made the crackdown on legal and illegal immigration a major issue in his presidency and his re-election effort in 2020, said he and McAleenan “worked well, with the border crossing down significantly.”
Despite praise, Trump has never officially named McAleenan to run the agency.
Democratic Representative Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security, said the departure of McAleenan was a worrying sign for the sprawling department, whose responsibilities include border security, the fight against terrorism, cyber security and emergency management.
“This will only add to the chaos for a department where there are chronically too many management vacancies and positions held by unconfirmed” interim “officials”, he said in a statement.
In a statement, McAleenan said that during his six-month tenure, DHS had “made considerable progress in mitigating the border security and humanitarian crisis we faced this year.”
Customs and US border protection said this week that arrests at the US-Mexico border fell in September for the fourth consecutive month.
He said just over 52,000 migrants were apprehended or met on the southwestern border in September, a decline of almost 65 percent from the peak of 144,000 in May.
Most of the arriving migrants are from Central America, many of them families, fleeing violence and poverty at home and often seeking asylum in the United States.
(Sahar News Monitoring Desk)

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