‘We will not apologize:’ Homeland Security chief Nielsen defends immigration policy

Geraldine Edwards
June 19, 2018

"If we close the loopholes, we can keep the families together", she said, adding that the administration has repeatedly called on Congress to do so.

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.

"No more free passes, no more get out of jail free cards", she said.

In an opinion piece in the Washington Post, former first lady Laura Bush, wife of the previous Republican president, George W. Bush, said she lives in a border state and appreciates the need to enforce and protect the USA borders.

On Monday Trump blamed child separation on "horrible laws", as well as Democrats, who he complained were "obstructing" immigration legislation. "We give them medical care", Nielsen said.

On Fox & Friends Monday, the tweets were presented as an attempt to "clarify" the policy.

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Last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a "zero tolerance" policy, in which every person crossing the border illegally would be criminally prosecuted, having the effect of children being separated from their parents.

"These children have been traumatized on their trip up to the border, and the first thing that happens is we take away the one constant in their life that helps them buffer all these terrible experiences", Kraft said on CNN Monday. "And it can be taken care of quickly, beautifully, and we'll have safety". This tweet was just one in a series of blatant lies concerning the inhumane zero-tolerance policy.

Several prominent Democrats spent Father's Day crisscrossing the Rio Grande Valley in Texas to meet with USA border authorities and tour detention centers for apprehended children, including a former Walmart Inc. store that's been converted into a shelter for nearly 1,500 immigrant boys.

Nielsen is the latest administration official to be called out for misleading statements on the policy.

How many families have been separated?


"Why is the government only releasing images of the boys being held?" a reporter, likely Kristen Welker of NBC News, asked the DHS Secretary at a White House press conference Monday afternoon. I would thank them both for their concerns. That is correct. But under US protocol, if parents are jailed, their children are separated from them because the children aren't charged with a crime.

Photos of a detention center housing separated migrant children
The former superstore stretches across 250,000 square feet, but the bedrooms for the children housed there are tightly packed. Center officials initially said they'd call the police on the visitors, but eventually allowed in the delegation.

"DHS will faithfully execute the laws enacted by Congress, as we are sworn to do", she emoted.

"If you cross the border unlawfully. we will prosecute you", Sessions said at the time.

The law dictates that children be removed from adults accused of committing crimes, she said, calling "offensive" reporters' suggestions the children were being used as a deterrent and a pawn.

How did the Obama administration handle this issue?

"As long as illegal entry remains a criminal offense, DHS will not look the other way", Nielsen said.

Before Trump took office in 2017, he said, the USA sent a "bad message" with its practice of not prosecuting undocumented adults who were caught entering the country with children at illegal crossing points.

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It isn't too far-fetched to suggest the administration is committing child abuse.

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