Published: Wed, June 20, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

DHS Chief is Confronted With ProPublica Tape of Wailing…

DHS Chief is Confronted With ProPublica Tape of Wailing…

Trump scrapped that policy last fall, though federal courts have kept the program in place temporarily.

Nielsen ultimately said that the children in custody are well taken care of and that they may still communicate with their parents in some cases, but said that the separation policy is still necessary until Congress is able to change the law. Nielsen repeated a false claim that the separation was not the result of a new policy, despite it being the direct result of Attorney General Jeff Sessions announcing a "zero tolerance" approach last month. But Nielsen, in a speech to a law enforcement group in New Orleans, Louisiana, offered no apologies for the policy. She says loopholes in the laws need to be closed so families can stay together. Many of these families come from countries experiencing persecution and targeted violence, including Honduras and El Salvador. We have to do our job.

She said DHS was just doing its job, comparing the migrants and asylum seekers to criminals who are convicted and jailed in the USA system. "We have sworn to do this job".

Congressional lawmakers met with men, women and children detained at the worldwide boundary in several immigration detention facilities, where Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi called President Trump's "zero tolerance" immigration policy "an utter atrocity that debases America's values and our legacy as a beacon of hope, opportunity and freedom".

"We don't have a balanced view of what is happening", she said. "If you smuggle illegal aliens across an extraordinarily unsafe journey, we will prosecute you".

Several lawmakers have called on Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to resign. Ed Markey tweeted late Sunday night in a response to Nielsen, adding that "you are directly responsible for unimaginable amounts of misery".

After dismissing details about the policy as "misreporting" on Sunday and claiming that DHS does not have such a policy at all, Nielsen backtracked on Monday by defending the policy and suggesting that her team is simply doing their "job" at the border and enforcing the law.

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

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A grand bargain in Congress to finally resolve deep divisions over immigration law appeared unlikely, with Trump focused on winning funding for a wall he has long wanted to build along America's southern border with Mexico. As a result, because children can not be held in criminal detention, there has been a subsequent spike in family separations.

Technically, there is no Trump administration policy stating that illegal border crossers must be separated from their children.

"The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility", Trump vowed.

"If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child will be separated from you as required by law", Sessions said in May.

TRT World's Kevin McAleese brings more from Washington, DC. "Not going to happen in the U.S".

Harris has previously criticized the separation of undocumented children from their parents, calling it "human rights abuse" - and has frequently and famously butted heads with Nielsen and her predecessor John Kelly. Immigration hawks have blasted that policy as "catch and release", because immigrants can often flee, fail to show up for their hearings and stay in the US illegally.

Harris, a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee member who has frequently criticized the Trump administration for its "inhumane" treatment of immigrants, slammed Nielsen for not being forthcoming with data about how many children are separated from their families at the border.

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