Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was grilled for hours about the horrible and harmful treatment of families she has allowed.
Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was called to appear before the House Judiciary Committee Thursday, and she got an earful from Democrats who wanted her to answer for the multiple abuses she has enabled in her department.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) started off by criticizing the Trump administration's policy of separating families at the border.
"On what planet can a humane, democratic country deport parents without giving them the opportunity to have their children with them? And without maintaining records so you could identify them afterwards?" Nadler asked.
"The fact that this was handled so poorly," he continued, "that some separated children have yet to be reunited with their parents, is unacceptable. Mass kidnapping by the federal government is criminal."
Nielsen is the most senior official under Trump, responsible for the execution of the racist and cruel family separation policy.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) told Nielsen the way she has gone about her job "makes it seem like you agree" with Tucker Carlson, the conservative Fox News host under fire for pushing hateful white supremacist messages. Carlson has said immigrants make America "poorer, and dirtier, and more divided."
Gutierrez called out Nielsen for lying in July when she tweeted, "We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period."
The congressman awarded Nielsen "the all-time record for lying" for that false statement. He described the callous policy as "repugnant."
"Thank God there wasn't a wall that stopped [Jesus] from seeking refuge in Egypt," noting Christmas is just days away. "Thank God there wasn't an administration there like this, or he too would have perished."
He concluded, "Shame on us for wearing our badge of Christianity during Christmas and allow the secretary to come here and lie."
Angrily, Nielsen said "calling me a liar are [sic] fighting words" and whined, "I'm not a liar." As she continued to once again lie about her statement, Gutierrez walked out of the hearing room in disgust.
As the hearing drew to a close, Nielsen's inability to report to Congress on basic data about her job came into question.
Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) incredulously asked Nielsen, "As you sit here today, you do not know how many human beings have died while in the custody of the department that you lead? And in preparation for today's hearing you didn't ascertain that number? You don't know it today?"
"I don't have an exact figure for you," Nielsen responded.
"I'm talking about people that have died in your custody," Cicilline emphasized. Nielsen merely promised to get back to him at a later date.
After Nielsen's incompetence and cruelty had been thoroughly exposed over the course of two and a half hours, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), the committee's chairman who is retiring from Congress, lauded her as a "great secretary of Homeland Security."
The praise was a fitting end to the year, as it highlighted the GOP's failure to provide serious oversight of the Trump administration, even on matters that should be nonpartisan, like the kidnapping and death of children.
But Republicans failed to fulfill that constitutional duty, and voters punished them for it, allowing Democrats to pick up 40 House seats and putting Republicans back in the minority.
In January, when Democrats take control of the House, Nadler will become chair of the Judiciary Committee.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.