In yet another example of how Trump White House officials are undermining the integrity of the executive branch, news broke recently that the Department of Homeland Security Secretary will be resigning after being pressured by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to expel tens of thousands of Nicaraguan immigrants living in the United States.
On Monday of this week, DHS Acting Secretary Elaine Duke was making preparations to extend residency permits for Nicaraguan immigrants who came to the United States decades ago under Temporary Protected Status (TPS).
Under TPS the United States and the government of the country in need of help work together to relocate citizens after natural disasters, political instability or similar events. In the case of Nicaragua, its citizens qualified and were granted TPS due to the devastation of Hurricane Mitch. That natural disaster killed 10,000 Nicaraguans.
Nicaraguans were subsequently granted temporary residence and have been living as Americans for decades. The Trump administration, especially Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Chief of Staff John Kelly would like to roll back those protections and end protective status to these Nicaraguans. Which would lead to them being asked to leave the United States despite having children and lives here.
DHS Acting Secretary did not agree with this tactic. She was reportedly pressured by John Kelly in a phone call to speed up the process of expelling Nicaraguan TPS recipients especially after announcing that an extension would be granted to allow people to remain in the United States till another decision is reached.
According to a source within her office: “She was angry. To get a call like that from Asia, after she’d already made the decision, was a slap in the face.”
Because of this and because she feels as though the White House is politically motivated in this case, Elaine Duke has expressed her desire to step down from her position.