US Secret Service Director Randolph Alles leaves post | News | DW | 08.04.2019
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US Secret Service Director Randolph Alles leaves post

The director of the US Secret Service, Randolph Alles, has stepped down. It is the second change of leadership at the US Department of Homeland Security in just two days.

US President Donald Trump's administration announced Monday that US Secret Service Director Randolph Alles was stepping down and being replaced in May by career Secret Service official James Murray.

It is the second high-level shake-up at the US Department of Homeland Security in just two days. On Sunday, Kirstjen Nielsen left her post as head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The Secret Service director reports to the Homeland Security secretary and is responsible for guarding the president and visiting heads of state. Alles was confirmed as head of the agency in 2017.

No official reason was given for Alles' departure, although officials told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity that Alles left over personality conflicts within the agency.

The officials denied a connection between Nielsen and Alles stepping down from their posts, along with dispelling reports that Alles' departure was related to an unauthorized woman accessing Trump's  Mar-a-lago resort club last month.

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Overhaul at DHS?

Both Alles and Nielsen's departures have come amid renewed ire from Trump over immigration at the US southern border. In a tweet on Monday, Trump renewed his threat to "close the border and/or institute tariffs" against Mexico if authorities did not "apprehend" migrants and asylum-seekers.

The two departures have been characterized by US media as part of of a larger overhaul at the DHS.

On Thursday, Trump retracted former US border patrol agent Ron Vitiello as his nomination for the director of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is also part of DHS. The president said the move was part of a policy change heading in a "tougher direction."

During her time as the head of the DHS, Nielsen executed the Trump administration's immigration policies, including taking ownership of the controversial decision to separate families at the border. She also brokered a deal for asylum-seekers to await the results of their cases in Mexico, with the DHS saying last week that it plans on expanding the program.

That particular policy came under fire on Monday, when a US judge in San Francisco blocked the Trump administration's policy of sending asylum-seekers back to Mexico. The ruling is due to take effect on Friday to give US officials time to appeal.

rs, wmr/aw (Reuters, AFP, AP)

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