TSA head moves to DHS amid Trump's border crisis

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on April 11, 2019 - Duration: 01:51s

TSA head moves to DHS amid Trump's border crisis

The new chief of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) named the United States' top airport-security official, David Pekoske, his acting deputy on Thursday, as President Donald Trump overhauls the leadership of the domestic-security agency.

Tom Rowe reports.

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TSA head moves to DHS amid Trump's border crisis

The dramatic shake-up at the Department of Homeland Security showed no signs of ending Thursday, as President Trump cleans house over a surge in migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.

As Kevin McAleenan took over as the department's new acting secretary, in one of his first acts, he promptly named the U.S. official in charge of airport security, David Pekoske, to be his acting deputy.

Pekoske replaces Claire Grady, whose departure Tuesday followed the forced resignation Sunday of former Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER SECRETARY KIRSTJEN NIELSEN, SAYING: "I'm forever grateful and proud of the men and women of DHS." The flurry of departures is straining a department that oversees everything from border security and immigration to flight security and disaster response.

As McAleenan tries to stabilize DHS, he still remains in charge of U.S. Customs and Border Protection - with no replacement named yet for that post.

This as traffic jams at U.S. ports of entry are stretching hours long due to agents being reassigned to overburdened detention facilities handling the crush of new migrants.

Another agency without permanent leadership: Immigration and Customs Enforcement, better known as ICE, which carries out deportations.

The agency's acting director, Ron Vitiello, is also stepping down after Trump withdrew his name for the permanent post.

The head of the Secret Service, Randolph Tex Alles, also on the way out.

Trump ordered the shake-up as he grew increasingly frustrated at the number of Central American migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border seeking asylum.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "The whole asylum rules and regulations have been taken advantage of by people who are very bad in many cases." DHS arrested or denied entry to more than 100,000 people along the border last month, more than double the figure from a year ago.

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