Kevin McAleenan, who’s taking on DHS in an performing capability, was serving because the commissioner of US Customs and Border Safety earlier than Sunday’s announcement. He was confirmed as commissioner by the Senate in March 2018 by a vote of 77-19.
He’s anticipated to function the performing secretary “within the quick time period,” in accordance with a White Home official. Nielsen must be staying for per week of transition, one other White Home official mentioned.
The senior DHS official instructed CNN McAleenan is “not an ideologue or fireplace breather” on immigration like White Home senior adviser Stephen Miller or Trump. This official puzzled how McAleenan will slot in as Miller has positioned a number of political appointees within the division who comply with the immigration hardliner’s marching orders.
One other senior DHS official mentioned, “he is good at what he does. Each position he has had, he is improved situations. I anticipate this would be the identical.” However one other administration official cautioned that though McAleenan “is aware of border and immigration,” he “could not know the remainder of DHS.”
McAleenan additionally has shared a few of Nielsen’s frustrations with Trump over his calls for from the division, two US officers acquainted with his considering mentioned. He is additionally considered warily by among the White Home immigration hardliners, led by Miller, who has Trump’s ear on the problems he views as key to his re-election prospects.
He was scheduled to steer a information convention Monday morning to debate the month-to-month southern border apprehension numbers, however it was postponed “because of current breaking information.”
McAleenan obtained the Presidential Rank Award in 2015, in accordance with the division’s web site, and in addition obtained the Service to America Medal and Name to Service Award in 2005 for spearheading anti-terrorism efforts on the border after the September 11, 2001 terrorism assaults.
This story has been up to date with extra developments Sunday night time.
CNN’s Evan Perez and Boris Sanchez contributed to this report.