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Homeland chief berated, seen as close to quitting

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Donald Trump and DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen

Questions were raised about Nielsen's tenure after the New York Times reported that she had considered resigning after Trump criticized her at a meeting on Wednesday for what he said was her failure to secure USA borders.

The Times also reported, citing current and former staffers as the source of the claims, that Nielsen has already written a letter of resignation, but has yet to turn it in.

His comments come as the Trump administration, under the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, has moved to revoke this special status and to expel tens of thousands of protected immigrants. But Trump has made little progress on building the wall, and a new report from Vox claimed that Trump failed to understand even basics about what the US government can do regarding border entries.

Following the release of the report, Nielsen said in a statement that Trump "is rightly frustrated" on border security issues.

White House chief of staff John Kelly said he believes the vast majority of undocumented immigrants crossing the southern border into the United States do not assimilate well because they are poorly educated.

"The @nytimes article alleging that the Secretary drafted a resignation letter yesterday and was close to resigning is false", tweeted Homeland Security spokesman Tyler Houlton. During his first year in office, he had regularly extolled the continued decline in border crossings, which had fallen to the lowest level in decades.

The White House did not immediately respond to Newsweek's request.

Kelly told Fox News Friday that after Thursday's cabinet meeting, he phoned Nielsen to implore her not to quit.

Trump has let his frustration surrounding immigration issues be known to the public, especially recently, as a caravan of about 150 migrants from Central America made its way to the southern border. "I share his frustration", Nielsen said in a statement.

President Trump and Nielsen have "clashed for weeks about his belief that more should be done to secure the border". "She feels like she's doing the best she can and doing a good job on immigration, but she also has to follow the law", this person said.

This has not been the first time Trump has berated his cabinet officials.

Trump said Saturday the US might have to "close up our country" to get better control of its borders.

"I think we should fold all of the TPS people that have been here for a considerable period of time and find a way for them to be on a path to citizenship", Kelly said.

"The president is committed to fixing our broken immigration system and our porous borders".

Trump won the 2016 election largely on his promise to crack down on illegal immigration and build a wall that would totally shut down the flow of immigrants.

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