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Here’s Why Trump And Nielsen Parted Ways

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced her resignation Sunday evening after months of President Donald Trump’s dissatisfaction with her handling of the crisis at the U.S. southern border.

Trump all but fired Nielsen after a heated exchange at the White House over whether she was expending all possible resources in dealing with the flow of thousands of migrants across the U.S.-Mexico border, two sources tell The Daily Caller. Nielsen presented a variety of policy options to Trump, but he ultimately felt that none of them rose to the appropriate response-level and asked her to submit her resignation.

Trump has been agitating for options within the Department of Homeland Security for months that will address the large influx of Central American family units requesting asylum. The president has routinely felt that Nielsen was not presenting or executing his orders appropriately and wants to take drastic action to address the crisis. (RELATED: Trump Says Decision On Nielsen Happening ‘Shortly’)

US President Donald Trump (L) and US Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen (R) participate in a Naturalization Ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on January 19, 2019. (Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump (L) and US Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen (R) participate in a Naturalization Ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on January 19, 2019. (Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: United States Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) Kirstjen Nielsen, center, administers the oath of citizenship to five people as U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Vice President Mike Pence, right look on during a naturalization ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on Saturday, January 19, 2019. (Photo by Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 19: United States Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) Kirstjen Nielsen, center, administers the oath of citizenship to five people as U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Vice President Mike Pence, right look on during a naturalization ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC on Saturday, January 19, 2019. (Photo by Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)

The situation has become particularly fraught in recent days with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reporting thousands of migrants apprehended at the border per day. Officials explain that the crisis is exacerbated because U.S. law requires authorities to catch and release illegal immigrants claiming asylum, who will remain in the country at large at least until they appear for a judge.

Nielsen’s defenders say the secretary understood the root of Trump’s frustration, but that ultimately she was constrained by the rule of law and that many of the president’s demands were simply illegal.  Officials note that few, if any, asylum seekers actually come to their final immigration hearings in which their claims are rejected, calling it “backdoor illegal immigration.”

Family members hold portraits of loved one that were victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, before US President Donald Trump delivers remarks, as US Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen (3L), and US Attorney General William Barr (3R) look on in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC on February 15, 2019. (Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Family members hold portraits of loved one that were victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, before US President Donald Trump delivers remarks, as US Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen (3L), and US Attorney General William Barr (3R) look on in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, DC on February 15, 2019. (Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Nielsen left the White House Sunday evening to issue her resignation before Trump tweeted about her departure, saying:

Nielsen wrote in her resignation letter that “despite our progress in reforming homeland security for a new age, I have determined that it is the right time for me to step aside.”

“I hope that the next Secretary will have the support of Congress and the courts in fixing the laws which have impeded our ability to fully secure America’s borders and which have contributed to discord in our nation’s discourse,” she continued.