DHS acting deputy secretary resigns

Claire Grady, acting deputy secretary at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), offered President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump marks 'very sad milestone' of 100K coronavirus deaths DOJ: George Floyd death investigation a 'top priority' Lifting our voices — and votes MORE her resignation Tuesday as the agency finds its upper ranks thinned after a string of departures.

Her exit comes after DHS Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenHillicon Valley: Twitter falling short on pledge to verify primary candidates | Barr vows to make surveillance reforms after watchdog report | DHS cyber chief focused on 2020 Sen. Kennedy slams acting DHS secretary for lack of coronavirus answers The 'accidental director' on the front line of the fight for election security MORE announced Sunday she was leaving her post. Trump subsequently withdrew his nominee to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the White House announced that Secret Service Director Randolph "Tex" Alles would be departing the agency.

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“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, adding it will be effective Wednesday. 

“Her sound leadership and effective oversight have impacted every DHS office and employee and made us stronger as a Department. Clair has had a remarkable career in public service - 28 years at the Departments of Homeland Security & Defense - that is coming to a close. I am thankful for Claire’s expertise, dedication & friendship & am filled w gratitude for her exemplary service to DHS & to our country," she continued in a series of tweets.

Grady’s departure was expected after Nielsen’s resignation became public, though it means the department will still be without a Senate-confirmed deputy secretary as the White House works to replace the agency’s top leadership. It also clears the way for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) head Kevin McAleenan to come on as the new acting DHS secretary.

Trump is likely looking to revamp the agency into one that he believes would more effectively reduce illegal border crossings and support his hard-line immigration efforts to build more barriers at the border and curtail migrants’ prospects for asylum.

The rapid-fire departures from DHS have alarmed lawmakers on Capitol Hill, with some suggesting Trump is impeding progress on his own policies.

“The president has to have some stability and particularly with the number one issue that he’s made for his campaign, throughout his 2 1/2 years of presidency,” Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyFrustration builds in key committee ahead of Graham subpoena vote  Rosenstein to testify as part of Graham's Russia investigation probe Grassley: White House 'failed to address' if there was a 'good reason' for IG firings MORE (R-Iowa) told The Washington Post on Monday. “He’s pulling the rug out from the very people that are trying to help him accomplish his goal.”