Facing outcry over family separations, DHS chief says ‘we will not apologize’

by Garry Watts June 19, 2018, 1:47
Facing outcry over family separations, DHS chief says ‘we will not apologize’

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen defended the Trump administration's highly scrutinized immigration policy Monday while at the same time calling on Congress to change the law.

In disseminating all of this nonsense, members of the administration have revealed their ultimate goal: they're tearing these families apart and holding children hostage to pressure Democrats into signing onto a draconian House immigration bill that may or may not come to the floor this week, and which Democrats say they won't support.

The White House delayed the briefing three times to allow for Nielsen, who attended the National Sheriffs' Association meeting in New Orleans this morning, to answer questions.

Trump administration officials say the policy is meant to deter undocumented immigrants from making the trek to the U.S. border with their children. "Our policy at DHS is to do what we're sworn to do, which is to enforce the law". But no longer, she said, will parents get a free pass. But the president has repeatedly blamed Democrats, citing an unspecified law that he says requires children to be taken from parents who cross the border illegally.

"It amounts essentially to state-sponsored child abuse that is traumatizing young children by taking them away from their parents, not letting them know when they're going to see their parents again, keeping them in conditions that we wouldn't want any of our children in", Castro said in an interview outside the border patrol center. President Trump on Monday tweeted a challenge to Democrats, saying they should back GOP immigration bills aimed at fixing "the world's worst immigration laws". As migrants who illegally crossed the border await trial, their children are separated from them and sent to a separate facility while their parents go through the criminal process. If you make a false immigration claim, we will prosecute you.

The United Nations office for human rights has condemned the forced separations as an "arbitrary and unlawful interference in family life", and "a serious violation of the rights of the child", and has called on the United States to "immediately halt" the practice.

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Current asylum policy, Nielsen argued, was unfair and set up a magnet for migrant children to try to enter the country illegally.

He also refuted the claim that agents were surreptitiously misleading children and parents in order to separate them, as well as one report which detailed a mother being separated from her child during breastfeeding.

Outrage at the administration's new "zero tolerance" crackdown at the border reached a new peak over the weekend, as protesters rallied outside a tent camp for migrant children in El Paso, Texas, and several prominent Republicans joined Democrats in denouncing the policy as callous and cruel.

President Trump on Twitter Monday echoed that point.

What's more, journalists and lawmakers made note of previous comments Nielsen has made in defense of the same policy she tweeted doesn't exist.

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