Domestic Public PolicyAmerican GovernmentFederal Bureaucracy

Changes at Homeland Security

After months of rumors that her job was in jeopardy, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen resigned last week. Nielsen had been publicly criticized by President Trump for not being harder on border security, while congressional Democrats critiqued her policies, particularly family separation, as cruel and unnecessary.

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for Changes at Homeland Security


“Homeland Security denies NYT report that Trump directed McAleenan to close border and offered him a potential pardon”

“Upheaval at the Department of Homeland Security”

“Trump immigration shakeup lowers DHS morale”

“Secret Service director is the latest casualty in DHS shake-up”

“Latest Homeland Security resignation clears way for McAleenan”

“Homeland Security secretary: The worst job in Washington”

“Kirstjen Nielsen resigned from DHS because Trump wants someone even more cruel”

“Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s resignation, explained”

“‘It was long past time for her to go’: Dems welcome Kirstjen Nielsen’s departure as DHS secretary”

“Nielsen’s DHS resignation leaves Trump’s cabinet in a precarious state”


  • Writing: Describe some of the issues that the Department of Homeland Security deals with.
  • Debate: President Trump’s policies at the southern border are unnecessarily harsh and a violation of basic human rights.
  • Poll: Do you think that the number of migrants arriving at the southern border is a national security crisis?
  • Short Answer: Why are there concerns about the number of departures this week from DHS?

Current events quiz:

1) Kirstjen Nielsen held what position in the Department of Homeland Security?

a. Secretary
b. Director
c. Deputy Director
d. Chief

2) Who is the current acting Secretary of Homeland Security?

a. Kirstjen Nielsen
b. Kevin McAleenan
c. James Mattis
d. Ron Vitiello

3) Kirstjen Nielsen reportedly clashed with President Trump over which issue?

a. Gun control
b. Foreign intervention
c. Trade agreements
d. Immigration

4) President Donald Trump is rumored to have been considering replacing Secretary Nielsen for several months. (T/F)

5) Over the last few weeks, there has been a massive overhaul within the Department of Homeland Security with many personnel resigning their positions. (T/F)

6) The Democrats are overwhelmingly disappointed that Secretary Nielsen resigned from her position at DHS. (T/F)


1) A

2) B

3) D

4) True

5) True

6) False

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