- The Washington Times - Friday, October 11, 2019

Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan is stepping down from his post, President Trump announced Friday night, just six months after he took the job.

The president said on Twitter that Mr. McAleenan “has done an outstanding job.”

“We have worked well together with Border Crossings being way down,” the president said. “Kevin now, after many years in Government, wants to spend more time with his family and go to the private sector. Congratulations Kevin, on a job well done!”

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Mr. Trump said he will announce a new acting DHS secretary next week and has many “wonderful” candidates from which to choose. Mr. McAleenan is said to have submitted a resignation letter at the White House on Friday after deciding on his own that it was time to leave.

A former commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Mr. McAleenan, 48, took over at DHS in April after the abrupt departure of Kirstjen Nielsen. He has been the fourth person to lead DHS during Mr. Trump’s three years in office.

The number of illegal immigrants apprehended or turned away at the southern border has steadily declined in the past four months, falling nearly 70%. One factor cited for the drop is Mr. Trump’s recent deal with Mexico for that country to step up enforcement.

Mr. McAleenan thanked the president in a statement.

“With his support, over the last 6 months, we have made tremendous progress mitigating the border security and humanitarian crisis we faced this year, by reducing unlawful crossings, partnering with governments in the region to counter human smugglers and address the causes of migration, and deploy additional border security resources,” he said.

Although Mr. McAleenan faced criticism within the administration and from outside over he crisis at the border, former DHS deputy assistant secretary Thomas Warwick praised his service as someone who rose through the ranks from a uniformed officer in Customs and Border Patrol.

Kevin McAleenan’s resignation as Acting Secretary of Homeland Security is a real loss for the security of the country,” said Mr. Warwick, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. “McAleenan’s legacy includes a host of programs and measures that are less well-known to the public but more lasting than the southwest border issues that defined his last year in office. He played a key role in DHS’s ability to develop airline passenger information and information generated by the U.S. intelligence community to make it almost impossible for known or suspected terrorists to enter the United States.”

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