President Trump for months has been pushing for his administration to bring back a policy of separating migrant families at the border, NBC News reported on Monday.
This report came following the resignation of Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen on Sunday. Nielsen, NBC reports, had told Trump that DHS could not bring back this controversial practice, citing court orders and the fact that Trump himself signed an executive order ending it. Still, Trump has reportedly been making this demand since January, having grown convinced that the policy is effective.
It's not entirely clear whether this disagreement is what directly led to Nielsen's ouster, although it seems likely it played a role in combination with several other factors, including Trump suddenly rescinding the nomination of Ron Vitiello for director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Nielsen, CNN reports, was forced to resign as Senior Adviser Stephen Miller pushes for more resignations at the Department of Homeland Security. Nielsen also found requests from Trump to close ports of entry along the border "ineffective and inappropriate," per The New York Times.
Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan will now serve as the acting secretary of Homeland Security, and NBC reports that he would consider a new policy under which migrant parents would need to either be separated from their children or bring their children with them into detention. The Washington Post reported in October that this plan was being explored.