Senator demands Trump official resign for lies about family separation


Sen. Kamala Harris has had enough of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen's lies about Trump's policy ripping children from their families.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has had quite a day. In the last 24 hours, she's managed to both deny that Trump's family separation policy exists, and defend it against critics who point out that children are being held in cages as we speak.

It's enough to make anyone's head spin — and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who has served on the Senate Homeland Security Committee for the last 18 months, has had enough.

Harris released a statement Monday calling on Nielsen to resign for her "misleading statements" and her appalling support for ripping families apart at the border.

"The government should be in the business of keeping families together, not tearing them apart," Harris said. "The Department's lack of transparency under Secretary Nielsen's leadership, combined with her record of misleading statements including yesterday's denial that the Administration even had a policy of separating children at the border, are disqualifying."

Many observers were shocked by Nielsen's Sunday tweet that declared "We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period." That flies in the face of thorough reports from numerous mainstream news outlets about the children who are, indeed, being systematically separated from their parents at the border.

Harris has a pretty damning list of other grievances against Nielsen:

During her time as the manager of the government's third largest agency, the Department has implemented a policy that has separated thousands of children from their families, issued a directive to make it easier to detain pregnant women, tried to use DACA recipients as leverage to achieve the President's anti-immigration agenda, failed to address some of the agency's most pressing management challenges and overseen the continued failed response to tragedy in Puerto Rico.

The news cycle has been understandably saturated with the horrors of detained children, but the other issues Harris cites are equally horrifying.

The Trump administration has detained 506 pregnant women since December, when it stopped the practice of releasing most pregnant women while their immigration cases were being heard.

And the Department of Homeland Security oversees the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which infamously botched disaster relief efforts to Puerto Rico, where nearly 5,000 people died after Hurricane Maria.

After such a disastrous tenure, Neilsen's lies about family separation were the final straw for Harris.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.