Sunday, 22 October, 2017

Trump nominates Kirstjen Nielsen for DHS secretary

Top Aide To John Kelly Named To Head DHS Trump urges quick confirmation for Homeland Security pick Nielsen
Howard Terry | 14 October, 2017, 00:58

President Donald Trump announces his nominiaton of Kirstjen Nielsen to become Secretary of Homeland Security, at the White House on Thursday.

The announcement was expected to be made as soon as later in the day, Xinhua reported on Wednesday citing USA news outlet Politico.

Nielsen will be the public face for immigration enforcement during the impending fight in Congress over legislation to toughen border security and provide permanent legal status to young people now covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which Trump is ending.

Nielsen was Kelly's top aide at the White House and held the position of principal deputy chief of staff.

If confirmed, Ms. Nielsen would replace John F. Kelly, who was homeland security secretary until he left in July to serve as the White House chief of staff and bring discipline and direction to a West Wing plagued by disorganization and infighting.

Acting Secretary Elaine Duke told her staff about the expected appointment Wednesday, according to the Homeland Security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to comment on the internal discussions.

If confirmed by the Senate, Nielsen would take the reins at a sprawling department with more than 240,000 employees that is responsible for USA border and airport security, immigration policy, disaster response, refugee admissions and other matters. "She will be ready from Day One".

She also served as a corporate attorney and a congressional staff member, the White House statement said.

Nielsen's departure from the White House would mark the latest upheaval in Trump's White House team.

Jeh Johnson, who served as former Democratic President Barack Obama's last homeland secretary chief, designated election systems as critical infrastructure, widening the support the department can provide to states. Trump's decision to choose Nielsen was first reported by Politico. DHS is also the agency responsible for implementing the Trump administration's immigration enforcement agenda.

"Given the threats posed to the United States by everything from terrorism to natural disasters, having permanent leadership in place at the Department of Homeland Security is more important than ever", said Sen.

In addition, Nielsen was the senior legislative policy director for the Transportation and Security Administration, which operates under DHS, during the Bush administration. "I look forward to working with Chairman [Ron] Johnson to ensure that the Committee's process is comprehensive and fair".

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