Just days after Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen resigned, the department’s acting deputy secretary, Claire Grady, has likewise announced she would leave.
“For the last two years, Claire has served @DHSgov w excellence and distinction. She has been an invaluable asset to DHS – a steady force and a knowledgeable voice,” Nielsen tweeted in announcing Grady’s resignation, which is to be effective today.
Nielsen added that Grady had been an invaluable asset to the department and “her sound leadership and effective oversight have impacted every DHS office and employee.” In praising Grady for her 28 years of service to the country, Nielsen further thanked her for the “expertise, dedication & friendship” Grady had provided during her tenure.
The Hill writes that the resignation of the department’s acting no. 2 did not come as a surprise considering it followed that of Nielsen. The post has now been left without a Senate-confirmed deputy secretary, most likely to be filled by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) head Kevin McAleenan.
President Donald Trump has said that Nielsen’s stance against illegal migration was too lenient and he is likely to fill the agency’s vacancies with people he thinks will be more effective in tackling the issue and such that would back his hard-line immigration efforts to curtail illegal border crossings.
The latest departures from the agency, however, have not gone unnoticed, with lawmakers saying that the President needs “stability and particularly with the number one issue that he’s made for his campaign, throughout his 2 1/2 years of presidency.”
“He’s pulling the rug out from the very people that are trying to help him accomplish his goal,” said Senator Chuck Grassley.
Nielsen and Grady’s departures from the department are just two in the series of forced leaves as President Trump is purging the agency. Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles was ousted just a day after Nielsen announced she was leaving the DHS, while two other officials are also expected to “head out the door,” CNN reports.
An official described the developments as “a near-systematic purge happening at the nation’s second-largest national security agency.”