After Detaining Migrant Kids In Cages, Nielsen Claims They Weren’t Cages
DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was grilled before Congress on the Trump administration’s controversial immigration policies and it didn’t go well.
1. Nielsen hearing: The Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy, which led to the separation of at least 2,700 migrant children from their parents last year, was one of President Trump’s most controversial actions. The whereabouts of some of these children are still unknown. The Department of Health and Human Services’ Inspector General released a report indicating thousands of more children were separated beginning when Trump took office. Aside from child separation, the Trump administration’s immigration scandals range from migrant women having miscarriages to migrant children being allegedly sexually abused to the deaths of migrant children in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody. Now that Democrats have a majority in the House, they got the chance to grill Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on these issues.
One of the bigger moments of the House Homeland Security Committee hearing was Secretary Nielsen’s refusal to concede what Americans all saw with their own eyes – children were kept in cages.
NIELSEN: “Sir, they’re not cages!”
THOMPSON: “What are they?”
NIELSEN: “They are areas of the border facility that are carved out for the safety and protection of those who remain there while they’re being processed.” pic.twitter.com/0yjbpPbjDY
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 6, 2019
REP BONNIE: Is it different from what you put dogs in?
REP BONNIE: In what sense?
NIELSEN: It’s larger
B: Sounds like a dog cage pic.twitter.com/hcIEv4zwrE
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 6, 2019
Nielsen also asserted that the parents who have been deported without their children were given ample opportunity to be reunited. Nielsen said, “there was no parent who has been deported to my knowledge without multiple opportunities to take their children with them.” As we know, that is not true.
Sec. Nielsen tells Rep. Rice that to “the best of (her) knowledge”, no parent was deported w/out their kid w/out consent.
Attorneys have filed numerous affidavits from parents saying they were coerced into signing forms they didn’t understand.https://t.co/Ox5mex0Uhk
— Tal Kopan (@TalKopan) March 6, 2019
One House Democrat accused Nielsen of lying under oath. While President Trump continues to cite the surge in undocumented immigrants crossing the border, it’s important to recognize that his own policies of metering and creating a backlog of legal asylum requests have exacerbated the crisis.
Another concerning angle to this is how the administration is reportedly tracking journalists and activists inquiring on this story. NBC News reported:
Customs and Border Protection has compiled a list of 59 mostly American reporters, attorneys and activists for border agents to stop for questioning when crossing the U.S-Mexican border at San Diego-area checkpoints, and agents have questioned or arrested at least 21 of them, according to documents obtained by NBC station KNSD-TV and interviews with people on the list.
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