This past Sunday, April 7, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned from President Donald Trump’s administration, leaving another vacancy in the president’s cabinet.
Nielsen’s resignation comes soon after being publicly blindsided by the president, as he announced a funding cut for Honduras while Nielsen was speaking to the country’s leaders about new partnership agreements on March 30.
Nielsen was hoping that her tour of Central America would help ease relations in countries like Honduras and Mexico and ultimately sought support from their leaders on the front of illegal emigration to the United States. But Trump, yet again, chose to ignore the diplomatic route and go straight to vengeful retribution.
Immediately following the former DHS Secretary’s resignation, Trump announced Kevin McAleenan, Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, as the interim secretary in a tweet. According to the Federal Vacancies Reform Act though, this move was illegal as Trump must first fire Claire Grandy, the current undersecretary for management.
Somehow, again, we allow our president to ignore federal law to fulfill his own selfish wants. This small, illegal detail got quickly overshadowed, as on April 8, U.S. Secret Service Director Randolph ‘Tex’ Alles stepped down from his position as well.
In a time of supposed national emergency on our southern border, it’s troubling that Trump wants to clear house. If the secretary that defended the president’s zero tolerance immigration policy of separating children from their families and locking them in cages wasn’t tough enough to defend our country from intruders, who is?
In fact, NBC reported this past Monday that Nielsen and Trump’s disputes first started when she refused to bring back the family separation policy a few months ago, citing legal issues, including the would-be reversal of Trump’s own executive order that ended the policy in the first place. It is also being reported that McAleenan is not against reinstating the policy, and is toying with the idea of making detained adults decide the fate of their children, separating into age-segregated facilities or going to long-term detention together.
To make matters worse, even congressional Republicans are coming out against these Trump-pressured resignations, saying that white nationalist White House adviser Stephen Miller is secretly pulling the strings from behind the scenes.
Don’t take it from me though, even white nationalists think Stephen Miller is a white nationalist. Ask Richard Spencer, the President of the National Policy Institute — a white supremacist think tank — who is more recently known for leading a crowd in a Nazi salute and “Heil Trump” chant. Spencer said there is “no doubt” that Miller would do “a great job” as White House adviser.
None of this is normal, and none of this is OK. According to NPR, “a full 34 percent of high-level White House aides either resigned, were fired or moved into different positions in this first year of the Trump presidency.” Thirty-four percent.
This is the highest first-year turnover rate of any president ever, with Reagan having the second largest statistic with 17 percent, a mere half of Trump’s.
As of April 8, 2019, the total turnover rate is up to a whopping 66 percent. This one fact alone proves the deep-seeded turmoil present in the current administration. And yet, we are forced to accept a faux national emergency, ignoring the real emergency in the President’s “A Team” vacancies.
As a constituent, the only way to push back against the administrations constant failures is by voting. Showing your distrust in the administration and its constant turnover by voting against Trump is the strongest way to make your voice heard.
I for one, am tired of illegal power moves and fake emergencies. You should be too.