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Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigns

COLLEEN LONG
The Associated Press
President Donald Trump walks with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen as they visit a newly constructed part of a border wall with Mexico in  Calexico, Calif., Friday April 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is leaving her job amid growing frustration by the administration over the number of southern border crossings.

Trump said in a tweet on Sunday that U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan will become the acting head of the sprawling department of 240,000 people. McAleenan is a longtime border officer, reflecting Trump's priority for the department initially founded to combat terrorism after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Two people familiar with the matter said Nielsen went to the White House to speak with Trump on Sunday following their trip to the border. The people say she has long been frustrated by the difficulty getting other departments to help with the growing number of families coming crossing the border.

More:AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s bad-guy talk belies migrants’ reality

More:‘Our country is full’: Trump says migrants straining system

In this June 18, 2018 photo, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen speak to the media during the daily briefing in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House. Nielsen is drafting an executive action for President Donald Trump that would direct DHS to keep families apprehended at the border together during detention. That's according to two people familiar with her thinking who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the effort before its official announcement. It's unclear whether the president is supportive of the measure.  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)