Top Homeland Security officials ousted amid push for tougher policy

The oustings come as ABC News has learned President Trump came far closer to closing the southern border than originally thought.
4:45 | 04/09/19

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Transcript for Top Homeland Security officials ousted amid push for tougher policy
ABC news has learned that president trump came far closer date closing down the southern border than what we originally thought. At one point he was actually ordering aides to shut part parts of the border within 24 hours this coming as he's changing all of the leadership of the department. Of Homeland Security so parent I really want to talk about this. DHS shake up this purge if you will what's really happening in what can we expect going forward. Well of course Kimberly is started with the Homeland Security secretary Kirsten Nielsen being pushed down over the weekend. Yesterday we got word that the president is also pushing out the director of the Secret Service who reports to the DHS secretary. And we're learning that by the end of this week it may be that about half of the agency heads that are under the umbrella at DH yes you know people whose agency's report to the Homeland Security secretary. There could be more than half of them out of those positions of leadership and they could be either vacant or filled with people who are in an acting capacity. This of course is raising concerns on Capitol Hill there are Republican lawmakers who say that there worried about a leadership void at a very critical agency during a critical time. Because of course Kimberly the president's focus right now its top priority is border security. And he is really shaking up things at the big agency that oversees all of those policies. Yen Terry I just I just want to talk to you I mean what is this actually mean big picture what do these moves what does this say about the direction. Of this administration. What one thing it says is that the president knows that this. This issue immigration which he's focused on is one of the main reasons he's president of the United States it's still the issue that drives. His base and from one perspective he's failing it right he promised that he would get a hold of this and yet. There is a crisis on the southern border one many analysts believe he helped cause. By the family separation policy and then getting stopped by the courts and now. Some analysts believe people are rushing the border before the law can be changed whatever the cause now president trump has to deliver. He's got to deliver that wall which is promising he's got to he's gonna build a lot of it we also asked to deliver a solution to the problem. And right now he believes that the Department of Homeland Security hasn't been tough enough. He wants them to go to the edge of the law to stop this surge of migrants to the southern border. And maybe even beyond it and so he is staffing up that department. With acting secretaries and heads of the agency's. Who will all him because they haven't been senate confirmed there they they serve at his pleasure more than usual heads of departments. And he wants them to go after to get after. One note. One of the people who's apparently whose head is apparently on the chopping block is the General Counsel. Did just that is that's the person makes the legal calls is the president's order. Lawful is it constitutional doesn't abide by the law. We are hearing that the White House the president doesn't like the way that lawyer has been calling those shots so we want to more aggressive enforcement policy. And he is. Cleaning house at the HS. To get irate Terry and Karen I mean it seems like everyone's on the chopping block let's talk about B. A Secret Service director what do we know about that and why. The end this came out yesterday the White House saying that the Secret Service director would be moved out there be a transition to another career official at the agency. And Kimberly were told that this was actually a couple weeks in the works it's not tied directly to Kirsten Nielsen being pushed out and it's not tie. To the Mara Lagos security breach from just a couple weeks ago. Still adding we are looking at here though is the president really trying to bring in people that keep things as Terry thank you put in tougher policies in place not clear what exactly that means that the Secret Service that's not an agency that's going to be directly involved with the border. And also went abroad in this out here too there's a lot of focus this week on DHS because of Kirstie Nielsen but right now in by the end of the week we could see at least ten major leadership position in this administration that's happening in officials and other top positions. Dean fell right now by acting personnel the president and sees nothing wrong with this he has said recently that. He likes doing it this way having people who are not going through the senate confirmation process. I think gives him more flexibility. But I think you might start seeing some rumblings on Capitol Hill that this is not the way it's supposed to be done. And certainly concerns that you have people who are. Overseeing very critical policy issues there's an acting secretary of defense and acting secretary of the interior. And in a couple of days we'll have an acting secretary at home and security as well. All right lots of temporary positions OK thank you Karen Travers.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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