US President Donald Trump announced on Friday the resignation of acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAllenan, adding to a long list of officials who left his administration.
“Kevin McAllenan did a great job as acting homeland security secretary”, Trump tweeted.
“After years of working in the government, Kevin now wants to spend more time with his family and go to the private sector”.
He explained that he’ll announce next week the name of his successor, noting that there are “many wonderful candidates”.
The immigration minister took over in April, replacing Christine Nielsen, whom Trump was unhappy with.
Before that, Trump praised Kevin, who in the past served as head of customs and border protection.
“We worked well together, which allowed border crossings to drop significantly”, he said.
In response to Trump’s tweets, McAllenan thanked.
“I want to thank the president for this opportunity to serve alongside men and women in the Department of Homeland Security”, he wrote on Twitter.
“With the support he has provided over the past six months, we have made remarkable progress in alleviating the border security crisis and the humanitarian tragedy we have faced this year”, he said.
“Reducing illegal crossings and partnering with governments in the region to confront human smugglers, tackle the causes of migration and deploy more border protection resources”, he said.
However, Kevin McAllenan’s resignation comes after he told the Washington Post he didn’t feel able to control his ministry.
“What I don’t control is the tone, the message, the relations with the outside and the ministry’s propositions in a period of increasing polarization”, he said.
“It’s an uncomfortable situation”, he said.
Bennie Thompson, the Democratic chairman of the House Security Committee, says McAllenan’s resignation is actually a “dislocation”, indicating that President Trump continues to undermine the top of the Department of Homeland Security pyramid.
“This will only lead to more chaos”, in a ministry where “a large number of leadership positions are vacant or filled by” acting “officials, calling on Trump to appoint a permanent minister to succeed McAllenan.
Thompson said the president “forced the ministry to move away from the core of its counter-terrorism mission to focus solely on its anti-foreign and brutal immigration program”.
McAllenan has been at the helm for six months, replacing Nielsen, who served in the key post for 18 months.
The 45th president of the United States has made combating clandestine immigration one of the main focuses of his 2016 election campaign.
During the brief McAllenan state, the Trump administration stepped up efforts to curb the flow of immigrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador by demanding that Mexico block their transit or ask them to apply for asylum in their first country, Guatemala or Mexico.
Despite a strict policy against clandestine immigration, 144,000 people were arrested in May.
Since then, the flow of immigrants, of whom 52,000 have been arrested in September, has declined.
Since October 2018, nearly a million people have been arrested at the US-Mexico border, a record 12 years ago, authorities said earlier this week.
The administration has been criticized by human rights organizations for its immigration policy.