Kamala Harris calls on Nielsen to resign over family separation policy

Kamala Harris calls on Nielsen to resign over family separation policy

Kamala Harris calls on Nielsen to resign over family separation policy

Department of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen addressed reporters Monday amid intense backlash on the Trump administration's policy of prosecuting immigrants crossing the border that has resulted in the separation of families.

The family separations have prompted bipartisan outrage.

Some, like MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, blasted the Trump administration for its conduct, but in her response on Monday, Nielsen suggested that not everyone who appeared as a family unit was, in fact, one.

Republicans in Congress and the administration have pointed to a 1997 court settlement regarding the treatment of immigrant children in federal custody for legal justification of the Attorney-General's new policy.

Administration officials have defended the tactic as necessary to secure the border and suggested it would act as a deterrent to illegal immigration.

"I think she should resign", Pelosi said. "The Democrats have to change their law". Kamala Harris earlier Monday demanding Nielsen step down. If the Democrats would sit down, instead of obstructing, we could have something done very quickly, good for the children, good for the country, good for the world.

"The children are not being used as a pawn, we are trying to protect the children", she said.

Citing images and audio that emerged this week - like that released by ProPublica on Monday, in which children could be heard sobbing and pleading with Border Patrol agents to let them see their parents and other relatives - one reporter asked Nielsen: "How is this not specifically child abuse?". Border Patrol agents are now referring nearly all illegal immigrants at the border for prosecution, and prosecutors are bringing cases against a lot of them. Senator Merkley hasn't ruled out running for president in 2020, while Senator Van Hollen is in charge of Senate Democrats' 2018 campaign committee. But in the meantime, he said, "The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility".

Immigration advocates and Democrats say the administration has made it exceedingly hard to claim asylum at official ports of entry.

A child eats at an unaccompanied alien children program shelter in Brownsville, Texas, in an undated handout photo that was obtained from the Department of Health and Human Services by Reuters. "We will not apologize for the job we do or for the job law enforcement does", she said.

Nielsen insisted that it's not that she doesn't know where they are, it's that it's not her department. Many immigrants now coming across the border are fleeing rampant gang violence in Central America, and many of them are parents with children. The aunt told them she was sad there was nothing she could do to help her niece, because she and her own 9-year-old daughter were seeking asylum after immigrating two years ago.

How did the Obama administration handle this issue?

Bush who signed a key 2008 law that the administration blames for helping create the conditions that lead to family separation.

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