DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen Defends Separation Of Families At The Border

DHS Chief is Confronted With ProPublica Tape of Wailing…

The current practice is in place because of the Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy, which could be rescinded at any time.

Members of Congress from both parties have called for the Trump administration to end the separation of families. "And so, why we would even think that this is a tool that is needed to defend our borders is insane to me". Former First Lady Laura Bush, in a Washington Post op-ed, wrote that "this zero-tolerance policy is cruel".

Nielsen continued to fend off questions regarding the photographs of children in cages and audio of children crying out for their parents.

Some, like MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, blasted the Trump administration for its conduct, but in her response on Monday, Nielsen suggested that not everyone who appeared as a family unit was, in fact, one. Nielsen says agents are not acting cruelly, but are enforcing the laws passed by Congress.

In recent days, as national outcry over the family separation policy has reached a fever pitch, top Trump officials - including the president himself - have tried to pin the blame for the immigration crisis on Democrats. Last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, "If you don't want your child to be separated, then don't bring them across the border illegally". But in the meantime, he said, "The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility".

It's unclear if Nielsen heard the recording, which consists mostly of the sounds of weeping children calling for their mothers and fathers. Kamala Harris earlier Monday demanding Nielsen step down.

"Illegal actions have and must have consequences", she said.

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The policy has come under intense criticism from across the ideological spectrum, from Sen. They are very well taken care of... "If he won't, Congress must act", said Ms. Feinstein, who has written a bill that would ban most family separations.

What happens to the children?

.

Nielsen noted how the administration saw a 315 percent increase in immigrants "fraudulently using children to pose as family units to gain entry into this country" from October 2017 to this past February.

It has also argued that the settlement prevents the timely deportation of unaccompanied children, allowing them to remain in the United States out of custody, where they typically fail to attend court hearings regarding their asylum cases.

Southwest Key Programs, a company that recently made headlines after an OR senator was denied entry at one of its facilities in Brownsville, Texas, is one of the largest operators in Texas.

Over all, more than 10,000 children are now in shelters run by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Democrats have refused to consent to the border wall or restrictions to legal immigration that Mr Trump has demanded, and instead hope to block family separations with standalone legislation.

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The DHS secretary added, "if you are seeking asylum for your family, there is no reason to break the law and illegally cross between ports of entry".

Sessions has also vowed to prosecute any fraudulent applications for asylum. "We don't want what is happening with immigration in Europe to happen with us!"

As reporters in the room pointed out, though, this answer makes no sense.

Nielsen said "those who have complained" about the policies now have an "opportunity" to work with the administration on the issue.

DHS officials announced at the time that they would deport anyone who entered the USA illegally. There's videos, there's TVs, I visited the detention centers myself. We give them education. "We didn't separate them", said Cecilia Muñoz, who was a policy adviser to Obama.

So some families were released in the USA before their immigration cases were heard. The aunt told them she was sad there was nothing she could do to help her niece, because she and her own 9-year-old daughter were seeking asylum after immigrating two years ago.

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