WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 28: Acting U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke pauses while briefing reporters following a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House, September 28, 2017 in Washington, DC.
PHOTO: Drew Angerer/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 28: Acting U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke pauses while briefing reporters following a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House, September 28, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Now playing
00:59
WH urged DHS to end immigrants' protections
ice explainer van jones vpx_00014806.jpg
ice explainer van jones vpx_00014806.jpg
Now playing
01:49
Why Democrats call for ICE to be abolished
 Yazmin Juarez and Marlee.
PHOTO: Arnold & Porter
Yazmin Juarez and Marlee.
Now playing
01:59
Child dies weeks after ICE custody
PHOTO: Maria Venegas
Now playing
02:36
ICE agents detain man driving wife to hospital
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:39
Tlaib: We had border security before ICE
mother daughter reunited 62 days orig js_00003102.jpg
mother daughter reunited 62 days orig js_00003102.jpg
Now playing
01:13
Mother and daughter reunited after 61 days
PHOTO: WCVB
Now playing
00:58
Elizabeth Warren: US immigration a moral crisis
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:45
Immigration attorney represented 3-year-old
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:34
Lawmaker arrested during Trump protest
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:24
Senator: US is encouraging illegal immigration
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:44
Protesters block bus at immigration site
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:55
Rep. Speier: I saw children crying in cells
US President Donald Trump walks to board Marine One as he departs for North Dakota at the White House in Washington, DC, on June 27, 2018.
PHOTO: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
US President Donald Trump walks to board Marine One as he departs for North Dakota at the White House in Washington, DC, on June 27, 2018.
Now playing
01:59
Trump blasts movement calling to abolish ICE
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House, Thursday, June 21, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
PHOTO: Evan Vucci/AP
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House, Thursday, June 21, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Now playing
01:36
Trump: GOP should stop wasting time on immigration
Immigrant children walk in a line outside the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children, a former Job Corps site that now houses them, on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Homestead, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
PHOTO: Brynn Anderson/AP
Immigrant children walk in a line outside the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children, a former Job Corps site that now houses them, on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Homestead, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Now playing
01:54
Children in limbo after Trump executive order
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:08
Why immigrants make dangerous journey to US

Story highlights

Roughly 86,000 Hondurans are covered by the program

The decision deadline was Monday

(CNN) —  

White House chief of staff John Kelly pressured acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke to terminate protections for tens of thousands of Honduran immigrants currently living in the US, sources tell CNN.

Duke received multiple calls from Kelly pressuring her, in Duke’s perception, to end Temporary Protected Status for Honduran immigrants on Monday’s decision day, leaving Duke “distraught and disappointed” and ready to leave the department, according to a source familiar with Duke’s thinking.

The Trump administration characterized the call as Kelly weighing in through a normal process and said Duke was committed to remaining at her post.

The Washington Post first reported on the call.

TPS is an immigration status allowed by law for certain countries experiencing dire conditions, such as a natural disaster, epidemic or war, and protects individuals from deportation and authorizes them to work in the US.

Monday was the deadline for a decision on the protected status for the roughly 86,000 Hondurans. DHS instead announced that Duke had not found there was enough information to make a formal decision, a move that triggered a six-month extension of the protected status. The administration did terminate protections for Nicaraguans, about 5,300 of which live in the US. Both populations have lived in the US for nearly two decades.

According to the source familiar with Duke’s thinking, Kelly and the administration wanted Homeland Security secretary nominee Kirstjen Nielsen to avoid questions about the issue at her Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday, and wanted to her confirmed quickly enough that she would be the one to make a decision on temporary protected status for Haitians, which is due at the end of the month and which will likely be ended.

According to the source familiar, Duke had decided over the weekend that she did not have enough information to end the protections for the Hondurans, which is what the department announced late Monday evening.

“I think she’s very distraught and disappointed at Kelly and the whole apparatus,” the source said. “She’s out there alone, you know? It’s like, ‘Why do I keep doing this if you guys are just going to beat me up?’”

The source confirmed that she made reference to resigning during the back-and-forth and is inclined to leave the job.

The source described the back-and-forth as a “forceful, directive conversation.”

“It was a loud conversation, it wasn’t a quiet conversation,” the source said.

A separate Trump administration official confirmed Kelly discussed the TPS issue with Duke on Monday and that he made it clear to her that the final decision was Duke’s to make. “There was a call that focused on the chief encouraging her to make a decision,” the official said. “What he was saying is that the decision should not be a temporary decision.”

DHS spokesman Tyler Houlton said Duke had called Kelly to discuss the process.

“As with many issues, there were a variety of views inside the administration on TPS,” Houlton told CNN. “It is perfectly normal for members of the White House team to weigh in on major decisions. The acting secretary took input from the White House and other sources on the path forward for TPS and made her decision based on the law. As former Secretary Kelly had made a major TPS decision in May, acting Secretary Duke called him to discuss his TPS decision-making process. During that call, now-chief of staff Kelly reminded her that the TPS decision was hers alone to make as the acting secretary.”

The administration official denied that Duke discussed resigning on a call with Kelly this week but could not comment on whether Kelly had been informed earlier that she planned to resign.

The official also denied the assertion that Kelly’s frustration was in any way related to Nielsen’s confirmation.

Houlton said that Duke remains “committed to continuing her work at DHS,” citing her hosting the secretary’s awards ceremony on Wednesday.