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Kevin McAleenan delivers remarks at the Council on Foreign Relations on Sept. 23, 2019. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump announced on Friday evening that acting Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan will leave his position and move into "the private sector" after 6 months in the role.

The big picture: Trump has been wary of McAleenan, whom he associates with the Obama administration, officials told Axios in August. McAleenan, the former commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, took over the acting role following Kirstjen Nielsen’s abrupt resignation.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Stef Kight: Many in the administration and conservative circles have distrusted McAleenan's commitment to Trump’s immigration agenda — despite significant declines in border numbers and McAleenan's role in implementing several big immigration policies, such as the recently blocked public charge rule and asylum deals with Central American nations.

Flashback: While in the role, McAleenan signed an asylum agreement with El Salvador to force Central American migrants who pass through the country to first seek asylum there or be sent back to the country once they reach the U.S.

  • On the Trump administration's recent proposal to cut the number of refugees permitted to resettle in the U.S. next year to just 18,000, McAleenan said the refugee cap would allow DHS "to focus on addressing the ongoing crisis at the southern border, reducing a staggering asylum backlog that unfairly delays relief for those with meritorious claims..."

The bottom line: No president in recent history has started his tenure with as many extended Cabinet vacancies as Trump, who has been happy to fill many positions with "acting" officials, saying it "gives me more flexibility."

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
34 mins ago - Economy & Business

How GameStop exposed the market

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Retail traders have found a cheat code for the stock market, and barring some major action from regulatory authorities or a massive turn in their favored companies, they're going to keep using it to score "tendies" and turn Wall Street on its head.

What's happening: The share prices of companies like GameStop are rocketing higher, based largely on the social media organizing of a 3-million strong group of Redditors who are eagerly piling into companies that big hedge funds are short selling, or betting will fall in price.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
1 hour ago - Health

Who benefits from Biden's move to reopen ACA enrollment

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Nearly 15 million Americans who are currently uninsured are eligible for coverage on the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, and more than half of them would qualify for subsidies, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation brief.

Why it matters: President Biden is expected to announce today that he'll be reopening the marketplaces for a special enrollment period from Feb. 15 to May 15, but getting a significant number of people to sign up for coverage will likely require targeted outreach.

2 hours ago - Technology

Big Tech bolts politics

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Big Tech fed politics. Then it bled politics. Now it wants to be dead to politics. 

Why it matters: The social platforms that profited massively on politics and free speech suddenly want a way out — or at least a way to hide until the heat cools. 

You’ve caught up. Now what?

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