DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen Defends Separation Of Families At The Border

Immigrant-rights advocates protest

Immigrant-rights advocates protest

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has insisted that the Trump administration does not have a policy of separating immigrant families.

The White House continued to insist Monday that Democrats are to blame for the administration/s forced separation of migrant children from their families at the southern USA border, as outrage at the policy continued to build, including among some Republicans.

Under the measure, anyone who illegally crosses the border will be arrested on criminal charges. "Here is the bottom line: DHS is no longer ignoring the law". "This administration has a simple message - If you cross the border illegally, we will prosecute you".

Sen. Chris Van Hollen was flying back from a weekend trip to Texas, where he inspected facilities on the front lines of the Trump administration policy.

Nielsen spoke hours after taking to Twitter to vehemently deny that her department's border policy dictates separation of children from their parents. That is when they were separated.

"You are conflating it all and we are clear on that".

"But there is two separate issues". That move, which is discretionary, brings into play regulations that prevent parents facing criminal prosecution from being imprisoned with their children. We have high standards. "We provide food, medical, education, and all needs that the child requests". "There are videos, there are TVs".

"But they absolutely did this". She said immigrants will continue to seek asylum unless their home countries see major change.

First lady Melania Trump issued a subtle rebuke to her husband's administration on Sunday, saying she "hates" seeing children separated from their families by immigration authorities.

"What the administration has made a decision to do is to separate children from their parents to try to send a message that if you cross the border with children, your children are going to be ripped away from you", Senator Susan Collins told CBS television's "Face the Nation" news program. After the Obama administration expanded family detention centers, federal courts ruled that families could be held for only 20 days, in most cases. The agency didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Mr Sessions said this policy aimed to deter others from arriving.

Nearly 2,000 children have reportedly been separated from their families at the border over six weeks under the policy.

About 15% of those are arriving as families, and 8% as unaccompanied children.

Even from some of Trump's strongest supporters have panned the policy.

"If you are seeking asylum, go to a port of entry", Nielsen said.

"If you cross this border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you", Mr Sessions said. "What's missing is a conductor".

Nielsen echoed these points during her prepared remarks.

"I say it's very strongly the Democrats' fault", Trump said yesterday. "You look at what's happening in Europe, you look at what's happening in other places; we can't allow that to happen to the United States, not on my watch". "I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the objective of order", he said Thursday.

Donald Trump has previously blamed a law that "Deomcrats gave us" for the detentions, but it remains unclear which law he means. "They should do so".

"We are a better country than one that tears families apart", she said.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senator Kamala Harris, a California Democrat, both called for Nielsen to resign after the speech.

TRUMP: "Democrats can fix their forced family breakup at the Border by working with Republicans on new legislation, for a change!" The president said his administration wants safety and security for the country.

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