Sunday, 22 July, 2018

DHS Secy: Trump Administration Did Not Create Policy That Separates Families

Democrats, activists rally against Trump's family separation policy ‘We will not apologize:’ Homeland Security chief Nielsen defends immigration policy
Charlie Simmons | 20 June, 2018, 01:19

"Trump and Sessions are using immigration as an issue to agitate their base for midterm elections while at the same time trying to wash their hands of this as they lie to the American people", said Jess Morales Rocketto, political director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, who participated in a Sunday vigil outside a McAllen, Texas facility where children are being held. "Here is the bottom line: DHS is no longer ignoring the law".

Sessions said the children "are taken care of", at an "enormous cost".

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

ProPublica obtained the recording of distraught children through a civil rights lawyer, who said she got it from a client. That is when they were separated.

"You are conflating it all and we are clear on that". 10,000 of those now in custody were sent by their parents with strangers to undertake a completely risky and deadly travel alone. We give them meals.

'We have high standards.

She will end up apologizing, though, I expect.

"But they absolutely did this".

"Those are traffickers, those are smugglers, those are MS 13 (gang members), those are criminals, those are abusers", she said.

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Cruz said his bill would build temporary shelters where immigrant families could stay together in cases where there was no threat to the children's safety, double the number of federal immigration judges and speed handling of asylum applications. As a result, because children can not be held in criminal detention, there has been a subsequent spike in family separations.

But the policy has drawn condemnation from medical professionals, religious leaders and immigration activists, who warn that some children could suffer lasting psychological trauma. The agency didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Bernie Sanders to former First Lady Laura Bush to House Speaker Paul Ryan. On Saturday, Stephen Miller, Trump's senior policy advisor, defended the policy to the New York Times.

"Somehow we've conflated everything, but there's two separate issues: 10,000 of those now in custody were sent by their parents, with strangers, to undertake a completely risky and deadly travel across the desert alone", Nielsen said in response. Authorities have observed a 325 percent increase in crossings by unaccompanied children and 435 percent increase in crossings by families since this time past year. "The result of such a low threshold for an initial credible fear screening is an asylum backlog of 600,000 cases".

Lawmakers fan out across the country to hammer President Trump's zero tolerance immigration policy; William La Jeunesse reports from San Diego.

Even from some of Trump's strongest supporters have panned the policy. "If you subject someone to detention, it makes it far more hard to pursue asylum", said Greg Chen, director of government relations for the American Immigration Lawyers Association. The Border Patrol agent is mocking the crying as a performance. "What's missing is a conductor". Kamala Harris earlier Monday demanding Nielsen step down. Ted Cruz and other Republicans speaking out, are bracing for more hard-line policies because of Trump senior adviser Stephen Miller and Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, who influence the president and are "totally anti-immigrant".

At one point, a reporter from NY magazine, Olivia Nuzzi, played the tape ProPublica obtained from inside a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility, according to tweets she posted. "Surely it is the beginning of the unraveling of democracy when the body who makes the laws, rather than changing them, asks the body who enforces the laws not to enforce the laws".

"The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility", Trump vowed. "This administration has a simple message - If you cross the border illegally, we will prosecute you". Tell them to start thinking about the people devastated by Crime coming from illegal immigration.

Nielsen said, 'This is not a controversial idea'.

"If an adult enters at a port of entry and claims asylum, they will not face prosecution for illegal entry". Mazie Hirono both made on-air remarks Monday urging Nielsen to resign.

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