Leadership Changes At DHS
By Heather Ham-Warren | FAIR Take | October 2019
Last week, President Trump announced on Twitter that Kevin McAleenan would be stepping down from his position as the Acting Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). McAleenan, a longtime U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official, was promoted to the acting secretary role in April after the departure of then-Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen..
In his announcement, the president said “Kevin now, after many years in Government, wants to spend more time with his family and go into the private sector…Congratulations Kevin, on a job well done!” In response, McAleenan stated, “I want to thank the President for the opportunity to serve alongside the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security. With his support, over the last six months, we have made tremendous progress mitigating the border security and humanitarian crisis we faced this year, by reducing unlawful crossing, partnering with governments in the region to counter human smuggler and address the causes of migration, and deploy additional border security resources. I will work with the White House and DHS leadership teams on a smooth transition, and remain forever grateful to the men and women of the Department for their steadfast efforts to secure our country.”
Although McAleenan’s replacement has not yet been named, many conservatives are hoping that Ken Cuccinelli will be tapped for the job. Cuccinelli currently serves as the Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the component of DHS which administers the nation’s naturalization and immigration systems— and has been the public face of the administration’s immigration agenda for the last few months.
According to individuals familiar with the situation, Mark Morgan, acting commissioner of CBP, and Thomas Homan, former Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), are also being considered to lead the department.
Immigration-related issues remain prevalent in the mind of American voters, and with 2020 campaigns beginning to gain traction, the successes and failures of DHS over the next year could be instrumental in the next election.