"I don't envy anybody in that position because these are policies that are White House policies, not DHS," said Kerlikowske, who promoted McAleenan to be his top deputy. "I couldn't have been more disappointed"
"Kevin is a true patriot," said Gil Kerlikowske, Customs and Border Protection commissioner from 2014 to 2017 and former police chief in Seattle and Buffalo, New York. "He's incredibly smart, he's got a great intellect, he's very thoughtful, and he has a level of integrity and honesty that is very impressive. In my whole career, I can probably count on one hand the number of people that I've worked with that have reached Kevin's level in all of those areas."