The episode, first reported by The New York Times, left Nielsen on the verge of resignation, according to the paper, which also said Nielsen, the former deputy White House chief of staff, had drafted - but not submitted - a resignation letter. As the head of the Department of Homeland Security, Nielsen is in charge of the 20,000 employees who work for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The president's eruption was witnessed by Cabinet members plus a number of senior White House officials - including counselor Kellyanne Conway, advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, immigration adviser Stephen Miller and chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow.
In a statement, Nielsen said Trump was "rightly frustrated that existing loopholes and the lack of congressional action have prevented this administration from fully securing the border".
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Donald Trump had grown angry in recent weeks for reports of a roughly 1,200-person "caravan" of asylum-seekers from Central America traveling toward the USA border. But this year, they have risen again.
But Mexico refused to pay for the wall, and despite Trump's efforts to limit undocumented immigration, the rate of attempted border crossings may have risen - estimates show that in April, US Border Patrol agents apprehended almost 40,000 people in March, or a 200% increase from 2017.
One person at the meeting said Trump railed at the whole Cabinet over what he said was its lack of progress in keeping out illegal immigrants, the Times said. According to the Times, Mr. Trump berated Nielsen in front of the entire cabinet on Wednesday.
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. Nielsen issued a statement Thursday night, but it does not directly address the report or that she came close to resigning.
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Throughout the interview, Trump blamed Nielsen for what he said was collapse to fasten USA borders, " the newspaper mentioned the officials.
Trump has clashed with Nielsen for weeks. "I share his frustration", Nielsen said in a statement.
During those discussions, officials had presented Trump with a list of proposals that would help border agents crack down on people crossing the border illegally and send them back more quickly.
Kelly said many of those with temporary protected status, or TPS, resulting from natural disasters or conflict have lived in the United States for decades, and that Congress should act.
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One persistent issue has been Trump's belief that Nielsen and other officials in the department were resisting his direction that parents should be separated from their children when families cross illegally into the United States, several officials said.