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Acting Homeland Security Secretary McAleenan Says Child Separations “Went Too Far”

Kirstjen Nielsen’s tenure as the Secretary of Homeland Security was one that was often quite controversial. The former secretary was often tasked with carrying out the often wildly unpopular border policies. After months of rumors, Nielson finally resigned from her position in April of this year.

Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Nielsen was replaced by Kevin McAleenan, who was a well regarded employee who had worked both in the Bush and Obama administrations. While his work has been praised by the White House, McAleenan recently told the Washington Post that some of the White House policies go too far.

McAleenan has now worked for the White House for nearly 6 months. Donald Trump, however, has not yet nominated the acting secretary for the full-time role.

Despite being the face of some of the most aggressive child separation policies, McAleenan is not a fan of them. He told the Washington Post, “When you see the impact in the six-week period on 2,500-or-so families and understand the emotional pain for those children, it’s not worth it. It’s the one part of this whole thing that I couldn’t ever be part of again.”

McAleenan also explained how he feels handcuffed by the job. He continued, “What I don’t have control over is the tone, the message, the public face and approach of the department in an increasingly polarized time. That’s uncomfortable, as the accountable, senior figure.”

The White House had nothing but positive things to say about McAleenan. Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley stated, “Secretary McAleenan is doing a fantastic job implementing the president’s plan to secure the southern border, build the wall, halt illegal immigration and stop the dangerous practice of catch-and-release.”



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