But by October of that year she was back at DHS, this time as secretary. "That's according to a person close to Nielsen", Sanchez said. She quickly became a trusted aide to Kelly, and the two worked together to impose order on a dysfunctional White House that lacked clear lines of command. She did not realize how dire it was when she left the United States last weekend, but quickly did, as she abruptly returned.
Ms. Nielsen's relationship with Mr Trump has been rocky - she was often berated for not being tough enough, she alternated between resisting some of Mr. Trump's more outlandish policy requests and first capitulating, then staunchly defending the administration's policies.
Democrats immediately reacted to the news.
On Sunday, Thompson said Nielsen's time in office "was a disaster from the start." . He recently threatened to close the border, or parts of it, if Congress did not change US laws to fix what he called immigration "loopholes".
Nielsen entered government as the director of prevention, preparedness and response for the White House Homeland Security Council during the administration of President George W. Bush.
On Friday, the White House announced it was withdrawing the nomination of Ronald Vitiello to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
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Trump cut aid to those three countries last month in response to the surge.
Mr. Trump and Stephen Miller, his top immigration adviser, have privately but regularly complained about Ms. Nielsen.
The dissonance between Mr. Trump and Ms. Nielsen was particularly pronounced of late as the Secretary struggled to keep up with her boss's agenda.
Arrests along the southern border have skyrocketed recently.
Her tenure was marked throughout by tensions with Trump, who reportedly lashed out at her several times because illegal border crossings have not been stopped.
"Right now, we have an emergency on our hands".
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Trump's frustrations were placed on Nielsen's head, the Washington Post reported.
He said in a statement, however, that she should not serve as a scapegoat, blasting Trump for "terrible and cruel policies".
Nielsen took over the position in December 2017 after John Kelly left the post to become the president's chief of staff.
Kelly resigned as chief of staff on January 2 amid reports of a strained relationship with Trump. On a number of occasions, she indicated she didn't believe the Russians specifically tried to help Trump, despite intelligence community conclusions that they did.
President Donald Trump tweeted the news shortly after 6 p.m.
Trump's administration is struggling to deal with an influx of Central American immigrants as U.S. -Mexico border crossings are at a 12-year high and straining the U.S. immigration system.
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