Homeland Security chief defends separating families at border

Donald Trump's family separations bedevil GOP as public outrage grows
DHS Chief Hits Back at 'Offensive' Questions at WH Briefing - Cortney O'Brien
Author

19 June, 2018

President Donald Trump's administration has repeatedly denied that its policy is to separate children from their parents when they cross the USA border illegally, but its own internal documents contradict that.

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.

"If you commit a crime, police will take you to jail regardless of whether you have a family", Nielsen told a gathering of law enforcement officials in New Orleans.

"Operationally what that means is we will have to separate your family", Nielsen said, referring to the Trump administration's decision to refer for criminal prosecution all immigrants who cross the border illegally.

She added, "This is a perilous journey for many of these children, and if people really cared about them we would figure out a way to get the funding to expand the centers and to close the loopholes".

She said the "vast majority" of children being held in the detention facilities were sent to the United States alone by their parents.

The Trump administration fired back at criticism of its immigration policy on Sunday with tweets by both the president himself and his head of the Department of Homeland Security. Homeland Security has separated more than 2,000 children from their parents since April 19, placing them in shelters run by the Department of Health and Human Services.

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"Why wouldn't you bring children with you if you knew you would be released and not prosecuted?" "If you're smuggling a child, then we're going to prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you, probably, as required by law". CNN is looking into reports that these individuals are being turned away there, as well.

GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch condemned the policy Monday morning, saying in a statement that "a policy that leads to separating children from their families is wrong".

Prominently featured on the DHS's "fact sheet" for its zero tolerance policy, dated June 15, is the question: "Why Are Parents Being Separated From Their Children?"

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

That's from WaPo, which reported in the same piece that Trump is known to tell aides that Nielsen's "not tough enough" and that she's a "Bush person".

Nielsen said "those who have complained" about the policies now have an "opportunity" to work with the administration on the issue. At one point, NY magazine's Olivia Nuzzi played audio, published by ProPublica earlier, that recorded border patrol agents mocking weeping child migrants separated by their parents.


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