Nielsen bowing out of G7 to deal with border situation

DHS secretary leaving bilateral security meetings

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Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is leaving bilateral security meetings with European officials early -- and bowing out of the G7 Interior Ministers' Meeting in Paris -- to head back to Washington to continue managing the situation at the southern border, according to a Department of Homeland Security official.

Nielsen was in London on Monday for meetings with officials and was planning to head to Sweden on Wednesday for more bilateral meetings ahead of the G7 meeting in Paris at the end of the week.

The decision comes as President Donald Trump weighs shutting down the southern border. On Friday, Trump repeated his threat to shut down the border and said he would act this week if Mexico didn't step up to stop undocumented migrants from Central America from coming into the US. White House adviser Stephen Miller told top surrogates on Monday the plan is to see how much progress is made in the coming days.

The official, who was speaking on background, said Nielsen left her European trip early because she wants to personally oversee certain aspects of the department's response to the border situation. That includes the speeding up of the surge of at least 750 officers to assist US Border Patrol along areas of the southern border and the immediate expansion of the department's policy of returning asylum-seekers to Mexico.

Nielsen has decided to fly to the border mid-week to assess the implementation of the new actions, the official said. She is delegating US representation at the overseas meetings to acting Deputy Secretary Claire Grady.

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