The Times' sources said Trump believes Nielsen and others are "resisting his direction that parents should be separated from their children when families cross illegally into the United States".
Those numbers have since risen to more normal levels, pro-immigration groups speculate, because illegal immigrants were initially stunned by the president's early messaging but are now disregarding it.
The New York Times, which first reported Thursday afternoon that Trump had berated Nielsen, said that she had told colleagues she was close to resigning, citing several current and former officials familiar with the episode.
Nielsen also released a statement in wake of the incident where she said she shared the president's frustrations but didn't exactly deny the fact she penned her resignation. Trump went on a Twitter tear, writing that he'd told Nielsen to block the migrants from entering the U.S. "I share his frustration", she said. A recent target of the president has been a migrant caravan traveling from South America to the USA border.
The New York Times reported Thursday that the president has growing increasingly angry with Nielsen over what he feels is the country's inability to adequately secure its border. "You'll be processed. We have asylum laws", Nielsen said during a congressional hearing.
President Trump says he's working to give ZTE a reprieve
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White House Chief of Staff In In tune on immigration: White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, right, and US President Donald Trump. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose private conversations.
In recent months, the southern border has been inundated with illegal immigration and Central American asylum-seekers who traveled with a caravan, taunting President Trump's DHS along the way.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, "The President is committed to fixing our broken immigration system and our porous borders". "Give me some reinforcements, please", he urged the crowd, referring to Republicans in Congress who have balked at the billions of dollars he has requested for border security.
Jeff Sessions and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen had to explain to Trump that he didn't have the power to completely shut down the border.
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen testifies to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 16, 2018.
Last Friday, the Department of Homeland Security ended Temporary Protected Status for 57,000 Hondurans, too.