Rachel Martin talks to Mark Krikorian, who heads the Center for Immigration Studies, about the departure of the Homeland Security secretary, and what the administration should look for in a successor.

By Morning Edition on NPR


We’re going to focus now on the implications of the leadership change at the Department of Homeland Security – specifically, what Kirstjen Nielsen’s departure as the head of DHS will mean for the president’s immigration policies. Congress and the courts have been reining in the administration’s immigration plans. Yesterday, a federal judge in San Francisco blocked Trump’s plan to force asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico. What other steps might the president try in order to fulfill a campaign promise to limit immigration into the U.S.? Mark Krikorian is the executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which has helped shape the Trump administration’s policies on immigration. And he’s in our studios this morning.

Thanks so much for being here.

MARK KRIKORIAN: Glad to be here.

MARTIN: Are you pleased to see Kirstjen Nielsen go at DHS?

KRIKORIAN: Yeah, I think it’s long overdue. This job was not for her. She was in over her head. She’s a cybersecurity person, and that she knows. And DHS does deal with issues like that. But the most pressing issues that DHS has been dealing with are, obviously, immigration-related issues. And she did not appreciate the urgency of this. We wrote about a year ago about how things were almost certainly going to be spinning out of control. And if we saw it, then they should have seen it, too.

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