Homeland Security chief slams 'irresponsible' reports on separation of migrant families

Homeland Security chief slams 'irresponsible' reports on separation of migrant families

Numerous news reports have shown the torment the federal zero tolerance actions have inflicted upon families.

Almost 2,000 minors were separated from their parents or adult guardians who illegally crossed into the United States over a recent 6-week period, officials said Friday, June 15, as debate raged over how to end the deeply controversial practice. There is NO LAW that forces separation.

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 US borders. "It is immoral. And it breaks my heart".

Trump administration officials say the policy is meant to deter undocumented immigrants from making the trek to the USA border with their children.

However, Kirstjen Nielsen, Trump's Department of Homeland Security secretary, says the administration has no such policy.

"We do not have the luxury of pretending that all individuals coming to this country as a family unit are in fact a family", she said in a speech to the National Sheriff's Association in New Orleans. Some say the separation of families is a byproduct of properly enforcing the law, while others say it serves as a deterrent for other parents.

The beginning of the unraveling of a democracy she said, is when the body that makes the laws, instead of changing the law, instead tells the enforcement body not to enforce the law.

Sessions asked Congress to partner with the administration in building a wall at the Mexican border and closing loopholes in the law so "we won't face these awful choices".

White House officials are unable to cite any part of US law that dictates the separations, which were initiated in April after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced "zero tolerance" for unlawful border crossings. According to this policy, the Department of Homeland Security will refer "100 percent of illegal Southwest Border crossings to the Department of Justice for prosecution". "If you don't like that, then don't smuggle children over our border".

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

Kellyanne Conway claims 'nobody likes' policy of family separation at border
Senators Susan Collins and Jeff Flake wrote to White House officials on Saturday seeking more information on the policy. New immigration legislation introduced by House Republicans Friday does nothing to change the policy.

Dan Pfeiffer, who was one of Obama's longest-serving advisers later posted a video of the exchange together with the comment: "The Fox propaganda gets more shameless every day".

Sessions cited a Bible passage to defend the administration's policies after the separations sparked widespread outrage and criticism from religious leaders and immigration advocates. I would thank them both for their concerns.

How many families have been separated?

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What happens to the children?

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

In South Texas on Sunday, several Democratic lawmakers, including Senator Jeff Merkley, visited a Border Patrol Processing Center in McAllen to call attention to the policy, while Representative Beto O'Rourke, who is running for the U.S. Senate in Texas, led a protest march to a temporary detention facility for immigrant children set up near El Paso.

Secretary Nielsen tried to suggest the problem was with the Dept. of Health and Human Services, and not DHS. We give them meals and we give them education and we give them medical care.

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. "They can go to our ports of entry if they want to claim asylum".

Calling the United States a "compassionate country", she said Monday that the nation historically welcomed millions of refugees and told asylum-seekers to find a port of entry.

In response, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can be heard joking, "We have an orchestra here..."

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