In a cabinet meeting attended by advisers Stephen Miller, Kellyanne Conway, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Larry Kudlow, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump blasted Nielsen for failing to secure the southern border, the Washington Post reports:
Trump lashed out at his Cabinet, and Nielsen in particular, when told that the number of people arrested for illegally crossing the Mexico border topped 50,000 for the second consecutive month. The blowup lasted more than 30 minutes, according to a person with knowledge of what transpired, as Trump’s face reddened and he raised his voice, saying Nielsen needed to “close down” the border. [Emphasis added]
“Why don’t you have solutions? How is this still happening?” he said, adding later, “We need to shut it down. We’re closed.” [Emphasis added]
Indeed, border crossings have continued to soar under Nielsen’s direction at DHS. For example, as Breitbart Texas reported, border crossings in March approached Obama-era levels of illegal immigration at the border. Last month, border crossings continued to increase, with nearly 40,000 illegal aliens crossing the border. The increase in border crossings, coupled with a caravan of Central Americans which stormed the southern border, has reportedly created tensions between Nielsen and Trump. As Breitbart News reported, Nielsen allegedly almost quit after being blamed for not securing the border, though DHS officials say the claim is untrue. A separate report, however, by Fox News’s John Robert, reveals that Trump’s Chief of Staff John Kelly had to call Nielsen following the meeting to ask her not to quit.
SCOOP – @WhiteHouse COS John Kelly told me this afternoon that after yesterday’s cabinet meeting where @realDonaldTrump berated @SecNielsen , Kelly called Nielsen to implore here not to quit over it.
— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) May 11, 2018
While Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have taken tough approaches to illegal immigration and the caravan, Nielsen in her most recent testimony before Congress begged asylum-seekers to use the ports of entry to enter the U.S. legally, a move that experts say was a “colossal mistake.” “If you are fleeing and you have a need to come to the United States, please come to the ports of entry. You — you — you know, we will process your claim there,” Nielsen said. But if you come across the border illegally, you’ve — you’ve broken the law and we have to prosecute. It’s the only way to keep our border — to have a border.” Nielsen formerly worked for President George W. Bush, when thousands of illegal aliens were allowed to enter the U.S. after Hurricane Katrina to take coveted blue-collar jobs. Nielsen also previously authored a report promoting mass immigration as a win for big business.