Over the past few months, President Trump has clashed with top officials — including outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen — over border security, urging them at different points to reinstate a stricter family separation policy, deny asylum seekers entry, and shut down the port of entry in El Paso, CNN’s Jake Tapper reports.
A senior administration official reportedly told CNN, “At the end of the day, the President refuses to understand that the Department of Homeland Security is constrained by the laws.”
Multiple sources told CNN that Trump pushed Nielsen to separate families, even those that entered through legal ports of entry and were legal asylum seekers, because he “thinks the separations work to deter migrants from coming.”
Trump reportedly told border agents not to let migrants into the country and to tell judges: “Sorry judge, I can’t do it. We don’t have room.”
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