According to those familiar with the admonishment, Trump was unhappy with Nielsen's handling of border security; one source told the Times that the president went on a long tirade about Nielsen's lack of ability to tighten the U.S. -Mexico border and prevent undocumented immigrants from entering the country.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, left, speaks with senior White House adviser Jared Kushner at an event where Melania Trump spoke in the Rose Garden of the White House, May 7, 2018. Nielsen was tapped to be secretary after serving with current White House Chief of Staff, John Kelly.
According to DHS data, there were about 30,186 total cases of foreign nationals claiming credible fear and thus requesting asylum in the US between October and December 2017 - at the same time that an amnesty for illegal aliens was being considered by Congress and President Trump's administration. "We are a country of laws and the president and his administration will enforce them", she responded. Rather than direct her ire at the President, Nielsen used her platform to express her frustration with Congress and its lack of action in dealing with the issue.
One person familiar with Trump's blowup at the meeting said it was prompted by a discussion about why Mexico was not doing more to prevent illegal border crossings into the United States.
During the meeting, Trump blamed Nielsen for what he said was her failure to secure USA borders, the newspaper cited the officials as saying. I share his frustration. A conviction for illegal entry carries a maximum penalty of six months in custody for first-time crossers, though they usually do far less time, and two years for repeat offenses. Nielsen countered Trump's admonishment, stating that she was following the law as it was intended.
The Trump administration, under U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, has moved to revoke this special status and to expel tens of thousands of protected immigrants.
Nielsen viewed the president's rant as directed mostly at her, and she told associates after the meeting that she should not continue in the job if he did not view her as effective, according to reports.
Trump has clashed with Nielsen for weeks. Nielsen recently worked with state governors to send contingents of National Guard troops to help secure the border after Trump called for them to do so.
After another meeting on Capitol Hill, Kelly later said some people who were DACA eligible but didn't sign up had reasons but most probably "needed to get off the couch". This week, the Justice Department announced that it would be prosecuting 100 percent of illegal border crossings-a decision that will involve separating more families, removing children from their parents when they are apprehended and detained.