DHS Secy: Trump Administration Did Not Create Policy That Separates Families

Cheryl Sanders
June 19, 2018

He said the number of immigrants crossing with children increased sharply during the Obama administration.

The family separations have prompted bipartisan outrage. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Ben Sasse (R-NE) and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), or those out of office, like former First Lady Laura Bush. "And it breaks my heart".

"We have some of the highest detention standards in the world for children", he said. Many have said the idea of separating children from their parents defies American and human values, as well as not needed when there are pilot programs that have shown that families with the right release conditions do show up for their court proceedings in the vast majority of cases.

"The thought that any state would seek to deter parents by inflicting such abuse on children is unconscionable".

Nielsen spoke Monday at the National Sheriff's Association conference in New Orleans. During Monday's briefing, Nielsen, too, called upon Congress to close so-called loopholes in order to fix the situation at the border.

Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe", unloaded on Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in a tweetstorm on Monday as the DHS official spoke out on the outcry over the separation of some children from their parents at the U.S. -Mexico border.

"Parents who entered illegally are by definition criminals ... by entering our country illegally often in risky circumstances, illegal immigrants have put their children at risk", she stoutly insisted.


"These children are not entering at points of entry, but risky places", Sessions said. Federal law requires children and adults to be kept in separate facilities, which is further complicated when the parents are prosecuted for illegal entry. "Illegal actions have and must have consequences". "As I mentioned earlier, this get-out-of-jail-free card for families and groups who pose as families has spread".

Democrats went on the counterattack, with top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi calling the Republican proposal "simply unworthy of America".

"I say it's very strongly the Democrats' fault, their obstruction, they're really obstructionist and they're really obstructing", he said. One attorney will be stationed at the border and the other in NY "where numerous young, separated children are placed".

The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately return a request for comment on Harris' resignation call.

What happens to the children?

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Unaccompanied immigrant children have been held in detention facilities across the USA since before the 1990s.

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.


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

The Trump administration wants Congress to limit the period in which unaccompanied children may apply for asylum to one year after their arrival in the U.S., and it wants to end "abuse" of a visa known as the Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) visa, which allows unaccompanied children to obtain green cards if abuse, abandonment, or neglect prevents them from reunifying with one or both of their parents.

Sessions has also vowed to prosecute any fraudulent applications for asylum.

Asylum seekers, Nielsen said, should follow the established process.

When families enter the country illegally, DHS may only keep children for 72 hours.

Responding to media coverage of detention centers for illegal immigrant minors, Nielsen defended their treatment. We give them meals. "We didn't separate them", said Cecilia Muñoz, who was a policy adviser to Obama.


Other reports by iNewsToday

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