The recent shake-up at the Department of Homeland Security is alarming, indicating that a much worse problem is looming as the 2020 presidential elections loom large. The resignation of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen started the ball rolling, but Trump’s hasty move, which he did not seem to realize was not legal, to appoint a tougher anti-immigration advocate botched even that.
The legal hitch could lead Trump to fire DHS' Claire Grady, since she appears to be an obstacle to Trump's pick Kevin McAleenan being able to assume the top role at the agency https://t.co/52hJ4kF4SS
— POLITICO (@politico) April 9, 2019
On Tuesday, Nielsen’s acting deputy Secretary Claire Grady was forced to resign after reports that the Trump administration was pressuring her to do so. Apparently, Trump did not understand that he couldn’t just force Nielsen out and replace her with whomever he chose. There is a chain of succession that would have required Grady to replace Nielsen. which members of Congress had to point out to Trump.
‘In a letter to Trump on Monday, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) wrote that “the law of succession at the Department is clear” that upon Nielsen’s departure the temporary duty to lead the agency would pass to Undersecretary for Management Claire Grady.’
In his tweet announcing Nielsen’s resignation, Trump hastily announced that she was being replaced by Kevin McAleenan, an advocate for Trump’s family separation policy who gassed toddlers at the border when a group of migrants came to make legal asylum claims at approved checkpoints.
According to the ACLU:
‘McAleenan was one of the three DHS officials to recommend the cruel and inhumane policy to outgoing Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, writing that the department’s best option to “increase the consequences for dangerous illegal crossings” was to “direct the separation of parents or legal guardians and minors held in immigration detention so that the parent or legal guardian can be prosecuted.”’
Her letter said “effective April 7”—yesterday. They must have realized late last night how Trump incompetently botched the naming of her successor without having someone check the statute. But was the resignation letter accepted? https://t.co/c8l0F2gIXX
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) April 8, 2019
However, Grady was legally next in line to head the department. She was pressured to resign and has finally done so, paving the way for a man who makes the embattled Nielsen, who is known for having lied about the family separation policy, seem almost sympathetic. Almost.
‘McAleenan has already indicated that he would be open to resuming large-scale family separation, and CNN reported that Trump “wanted families separated even if they came in at a legal port of entry and were legal asylum seekers” and “wanted families separated even if they were apprehended within the U.S. He thinks the separations work to deter migrants from coming.” While the president has denied this, he also defended family separation by saying that “once you don’t have it,” migrants will be coming to the country “like it’s a picnic.”’
In an effort to ensure Trump’s preferred official @CBP_McAleenan—takes control @DHSgov, White House officials are pushing Claire Grady to resign her post, according to people familiar with the matter. Grady has said she doesn’t want to leave her job https://t.co/bziRV7EERn
— Steve Rhodes (@tigerbeat) April 8, 2019