This Sunday, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned from her position, the specific reason is disagreement over asylum policies in the United States. Nielsen has also become the face of a family separation policy at the border and has greatly damaged her reputation on both sides of the aisle. Her resignation comes after a major focus from the Trump administration on border security, which describes the situation on the Southern border as a national emergency. Nielsen’s replacement, or Acting Secretary, will be commissioner for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Kevin McAleenan.
With sweeping policy changes being made just throughout the week, like the floating the possibility of shutting down the US-Mexico border, a major personnel shift was expected.
Unfortunately, the Department of Homeland Security has undergone several leadership changes during the current administration. Acting Secretary McAleenan will be the fourth person to hold the position since 2017. It is hard to imagine being an employee for this major government agency who feels like their work is valued if leadership and policy are not consistent. Despite the potential of an unstable government department, the high turnover rate in the Donald Trump administration does have positive outcomes. It allows the executive branch to be on the same page more frequently and allows the administration to have the person best to serve its needs at that moment.
However, I am hoping President Trump chooses someone that is both an immigrant and that has law enforcement experience as the next permanent secretary. There needs to be an understanding of both aspects of living in America, that way policy can be created mindfully. The next major item on the President’s agenda is border security, and he needs someone that can execute this task thoughtfully and efficiently.