Homeland Security chief denies policy separates families at border

Sergio Conner
June 19, 2018

Sanders gets best reception at early 2020 audition Man indicted for threatening Bernie Sanders, March for Our Lives protesters MORE (D-Calif.) on Monday called on Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to resign over the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy that separates families at the U.S. -Mexico border.

"This administration did not create a policy of separating families at the border", she said, adding that adults are investigated at the border for links to human trafficking and to see if they are biologically related to the children they are accompanying.

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen fires back at critics of "zero tolerance" immigration policy, says media misrepresenting the facts; chief White House correspondent John Roberts reports. Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, one of the most vulnerable red-state Democrats up for re-election this year, said Sunday on Twitter that she would sign onto the bill this week and focus on the issue in her capacity as the top Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee. "The Democrats have to change their law". Host Steve Doocy compared the situation to children being taken away from parents who committed a bank robbery.

President Donald Trump defended the enforcement of immigration laws Monday morning. As migrants who illegally crossed the border await trial, their children are separated from them and sent to a separate facility while their parents go through the criminal process. According to Kathryn Shepherd, a lawyer for the Immigration Justice campaign at the American Immigration Council, these restrictions make it "nearly impossible" to be granted asylum. "So, if we do our duty and prosecute those cases, then children inevitably for a period of time might be in different conditions". Last week Sessions raised the bar for asylum claims, saying applicants could no longer claim domestic abuse and gang violence as reasons for seeking asylum.

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The San Diego Tribune pointed out that even before Sessions announced the zero-tolerance policy, immigration prosecutions increased almost 24 percent between February and March of this year, according to TRAC data.

The Attorney General directed United States Attorneys on the Southwest Border to prosecute all amenable adults who illegally enter the country, including those accompanied by their children, for 8 U.S.C. § 1325 (a), illegal entry.

A former adviser to President Barack Obama has slammed Fox News' coverage of the Trump administration's policy of separating undocumented families crossing the border, claiming it amounts to "propaganda". "Separating children from their parents should not be used as a deterrent". She made her choice.

Nielsen noted how the administration saw a 315 percent increase in immigrants "fraudulently using children to pose as family units to gain entry into this country" from October 2017 to this past February.

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