Published: Tue, June 19, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Homeland Security chief defends separating families at border

Homeland Security chief defends separating families at border

President Donald Trump, facing mounting anger over his administration's "zero tolerance" border security policy, repeated he is incensed about the family separations but continued to blame opposition Democrats for the crisis, which critics say is one of his own making.

The reporter then challenged Nielsen on her previous claim that the children are all being well-cared for, saying "how can you make that claim if you don't know where they are?"

Nielsen was brought in to address White House reporters on Monday, after traveling from New Orleans where she delivered a speech at the National Sheriffs Association. Bernie Sanders to former First Lady Laura Bush to House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Homeland Security has separated more than 2,000 children from their parents since April 19, placing them in shelters run by the Department of Health and Human Services. We will not apologize for the job we do or for the job law enforcement does for doing the job that the American people expect us to do. She blamed Congress for a supposed "loophole", calling on the legislative body to fix the issue, despite the fact that the situation has been spurred by the administration's decision to expand prosecutions.

"You have many people in the Trump administration denying that they're using this as some sort of political leverage", NPR's Scott Detrow reports.

"The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility, it won't be", Trump said.

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Trump issued a series of tweets Monday morning blaming Democrats for refusing to agree to changes to immigration law he's demanded and warning the US otherwise risked repeating what he portrayed as the mistakes of Europe, where he said immigrants have "strongly and violently changed their culture". "We have sworn to do this job", she said at the conference.

"We can secure our borders without taking actions that are morally wrong and shameful", Kasich said.

When asked whether the Trump administration had taken a more hardline stance on immigration in order to send a message - as Attorney General Jeff Sessions has previously said - Nielsen responded that she "find [s] that offensive".

Nielsen said she was unaware of the photos, but she would look into it. It is historic, with some countries the most risky places in the world.

Another FAQ section deals with questions including; "Why Are Parents Being Separated From Their Children?"; "Where Are Children Going?"; "What Happens to Children in HHS Custody?" The government says it separated almost 2,000 children from adults at the USA southern border over the course of six recent weeks.

Trump administration officials have argued repeatedly in recent weeks that Democrats are responsible for the separation policy in an apparent reference to Congress' inability to pass an immigration bill that would provide funding for Trump's proposed border wall. Is this the best way to handle families entering the USA illegally, seeking asylum?

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