Update, May 12, at 6:24 am

POLITICO reports on May 11 that Trump's dissatisfaction with Nielsen did not begin only with the recent uptick in illegal border crossings, but that it dates back at least to late 2017, when she stated at her confirmation hearings that she favored a permanent solution for DACA recipients and opposed Trump's border wall plan.

As a result of these statements, she was attacked by Fox News immigrant-hating commentators such as Lou Dobbs and Ann Coulter. Coulter, according to POLITICO, called Nielsen an "Open Borders Zealot".

The same publication also reports that Trump was "livid" with Nielsen because of these comments and threatened to pull her nomination. This raises a question whether White House immigration policy is being made in the Oval Office, or whether it is originating with Fox News. See:


Update, May 11 at 3:49 pm:

The Washington Post also reports the story described below in the New York Times about Trump's May 10 cabinet meeting outburst against DHS Secretary Nielsen, apparently brought on by a seasonal increase in illegal border crossings from Mexico. According to the WP, Trump shouted at Nielsen:

"Why don't you have solutions? How is this still happening? We need to shut it down. We're closed."

Nielsen's protests that the DHS has to follow the law regarding what actions it can take, apparently made no impression on Trump, despite the attempts of AG Jeff Sessions, who does certainly not have a reputation as a supporter of illegal immigration, or nonwhite immigration in general, to defend her.

I do not have a direct link to the WP story, but it can be accessed through Google. My original comment appears below:

The New York Times reports on May 10 that DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who by all reports has been loyally and faithfully making every[possible effort to carry out Donald Trump's "zero tolerance" policy toward Central American immigrants seeking entry to the US to pursue asylum claims, has written but not submitted a resignation letter after Trump berated her in front of the entire cabinet during a lengthy anti-immigrant tirade for allegedly failing to secure the nation's borders.


It appears from The Times' report that one of the main bones of contention was over the fact that current immigration law allows asylum seekers to present asylum claims ant the border and grants them the right to a hearing before an immigration judge if a border inspecting officer finds that the applicant has a credible fear of persecution.

It also appears that Trump was evidently holding Secretary Nielsen responsible for the fact that there is such a law, and that her department is evidently attempting to obey it by allowing some asylum claimants to enter the US for this purpose.The Times reports that Trump vented his anger as follows:

"We've very much toughened up the border, but the laws are horrible...The laws in this country for immigration and illegal immigration are absolutely horrible. And we have to do something about it - not only the wall, which we're building sections of right now."

Aside from the obvious untruth in this last comment, since no part of Trump's wall is in fact being built now other than repairs to existing fencing, Trump's above rant has all the fury of a dictator's wish to do away with laws that he doesn't like and hatred of what the great Roman poet Virgil 2,000 year ago called a gens invisum (despised race or nation of people - see Aeneid, Book 1).

Last week, in an even more ominous attack against non - only non-white immigrants, but the Rule of Law in America in general, Trump stated as follows in a speech about immigration to the NRA, according to the same report:

"We don't have laws. We have laws that were written by people who could not truly love our country....

"We're going to start defending our country. We're going to start defending our borders."

In other words, Latino and other non-white immigrants are the enemy. And people who enact laws which protect their rights are traitors. This is what the president of the United States appears to be saying.

In addition to berating Secretary Nielsen for following this country's laws giving asylum seekers at the border certain rights, The Times reports that Trump is also dissatisfied with Nielsen for failing to show sufficient cruelty toward immigrant families seeking entry at the border:

"One persistent issue has been Mr. Trump's belief that Ms. Nielsen and other officials in the department
were resisting his direction that parents be separated from their children when families cross illegally into the United States, several officials said. The president and his aides in the White House had been pushing for a family separation policy for weeks as s way of deterring families from trying to cross the border illegally."

(One has to suspect that Stephen Miller, a top immigration adviser to the president who has often been accused of supporting white supremacist causes


may have been one of these officials, but this is only speculation. I have no actual knowledge beyond the NYT report.)

It is also important to note that in the above quoted extract from his outburst over the fact that America's current immigration laws do not always neatly fit in with his own immigration agenda, Trump stated (or shouted) that the laws in this country are "horrible" for both "immigration and illegal immigration".

Contrary to what some of Trump's defenders might argue whenever he makes a statement that is hard for any reasonable person to defend, there is no reason to assume that this was merely a slip of the tongue by a president who is not famous for being precise with words. The obvious meaning was that Trump is highly dissatisfied with America's legal immigration system, not only with alleged loopholes for unauthorized immigrants.

Anyone who has not been totally asleep since Trump took office on January 20 of last year can tell from Trump's own statements and actions as president that he has a very hard time dealing with a legal immigration system which allows Muslim refugees, South and East Asian H-1B and other highly skilled professionals, African diversity visa lottery winners, and close relatives of American citizens who come from Latin America and every other part of the world other than "Countries Like Norway" to immigrate to the US with legal visas.

As Trump's presidency continues, for however long that may turn out to be, we can expect that there will be even more attacks on non -white immigrants from various parts of the world, and more officials responsible for for the immigration system who may be leaving or threatening to leave this administration because of attacks from the president for adhering to the rule of law in America.
Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from diverse parts of the world receive work visas and green cards for more than 30 years. Roger's email address is algaselex@gmail.com