Kevin McAleenan, a veteran of the United States Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), is the one chosen by President Donald Trump to head the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) following Kirstjen Nielsen's resignation today.
The news was confirmed by the president himself, who, as on other occasions, appealed this Sunday to his personal Twitter account to announce the remarkable change of pieces on the chess board that is his cabinet. On this occasion, Nielsen leaves, enters McAleenan.
Born in Hawaii, in 1971, McAleenan is Trump's option to occupy – temporarily – one of the most controversial positions in his Administration, that of secretary of DHS, an agency that, among other functions, is responsible for combating immigration. illegal.
A task that will not be entirely foreign to the successor of Nielsen, who since 2006 works in the CBP, which is the body in charge of border security.
Since 2017, he held the position of commissioner of the CBP, at first in functions and, since March of last year, after swearing the position, in a fixed manner.
McAleenan has been one of the most active voices in defending the speech of the Trump Administration that the huge arrival of immigrants to the border with Mexico has put the border services in a situation limit.
Last March, he denounced that the situation had reached a "critical point" after border agents arrested 12,000 migrants in just two days.
"We are on our way to the 100,000 apprehensions and encounters with migrants, of which 90% – some 90,000 – have crossed the border illegally between the ports of entry, and March will present the highest figures in more than a decade," he said in a statement. by the media.
Among the challenges that the next head of DHS will face now, whose official appointment has not yet a date, will be to tackle a crisis that some consider humanitarian and others of humanity.
On the one hand, the Administration defends that the arrival of migrants who reach the southern border of the country after crossing Mexico, most of them traveling in families, endangers their lives and exposes them to the dangers of human trafficking.
For this reason, Trump himself has spared no gestures or words to try to dissuade these people, who come mainly from Central America, from embarking on the trip.
The last of these messages came this week, when he referred to immigrants who arrive at the southern border as "animals" and told them they were wasting their time with their trip. "can not accept" more asylum seekers because "it's full."
On the other hand, the opposition Democratic and numerous social organizations that denounce that it is the lack of humanity of the Government – that cuts the aid to the countries of the region, separates the families in the border and encloses to minors in facilities without the conditions basic – that endangers the lives of migrants.
While the White House persists in talking about the need to build a wall, the DHS secretary, Nielsen, has quoted in her letter of resignation the need to obtain "the support of Congress and the courts to fix the laws "
Undoubtedly, this will be the biggest challenge McAleenan will have to face, if it wants to be confirmed: to tackle the problem of the arrival of migrants in a way that, nevertheless, satisfies a president who, according to many, makes the right decision. diagnosis of the problem but errs with the treatment.