U.S. President Donald Trump says Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan is stepping down, adding he will name a new acting chief in the next week.
“Kevin McAleenan has done an outstanding job as Acting Secretary of Homeland Security. We have worked well together with Border Crossings being way down,” Trump said in Twitter post Friday evening.
Trump said McAleenan wants to “spend more time with his family and go to the private sector.”
Kevin McAleenan has done an outstanding job as Acting Secretary of Homeland Security. We have worked well together with Border Crossings being way down. Kevin now, after many years in Government, wants to spend more time with his family and go to the private sector….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 11, 2019
He said he will announce a new acting homeland security secretary next week, and said there were “many wonderful candidates.”
McAleenan took over as acting secretary in April after Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned, becoming the fourth person to lead the department in two years.
A career law enforcement official, McAleenan oversaw Trump’s crackdown on undocumented migrants during his six months as acting secretary.
During his tenure, McAleenan introduced several initiatives to reduce a monthslong surge in migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. Those included allowing U.S. officials to detain migrant families with children for longer periods of time and working with Central American countries to create asylum agreements in which asylum-seekers would apply for refuge in Central America instead of the Untied States.
McAleenan has been criticized by some Trump allies for not being vocal enough in his support of the president’s immigration policies and rhetoric.
Before serving as acting secretary of Homeland Security, McAleenan was head of Customs and Border Protection.