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.
Rep. Joe Kennedy, who traveled to the United States-Mexico border in Texas on Sunday and participated in a protest at a facility where families were being forcibly separated, said Nielsen's statement didn't align with what he heard from local officials.
She said past administrations asked immigration agents to look the other way when families crossed the border illegally, but no longer.
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.
Releasing parents who bring children across the border would be tantamount to giving them "a get out of jail free card", Nielsen said.
Sessions said the children "are taken care of", at an "enormous cost".
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At least among Trump's hardline supporters, the response would inevitably refer back to Clinton and the email controversy. Texts between the two included their observations of the 2016 election and criticism of Trump.
President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet Monday afternoon with two Republican senators who have the hard task this week of balancing the president's requests for funding for more immigration enforcement and a border wall with the realities of needing Democratic support to pass spending bills.
In April, Sessions announced that anyone found trying to cross the border illegally would be met with "the full prosecutorial powers of the Department of Justice", meaning that parents crossing with children would be detained and their children placed in US custody. "We don't want what is happening with immigration in Europe to happen with us!" "So, if we do our duty and prosecute those cases, then children inevitably for a period of time might be in different conditions".
Whether she really did consider resigning or not, more than one paper reported last month that Trump lambasted her during a cabinet meeting at greeeeeat length over the fact that illegal border-crossings hadn't fallen. CNN is looking into reports that these individuals are being turned away there, as well.
Is this the best way to handle families entering the USA illegally, seeking asylum?
Nielsen also addressed some of her remarks directly at lawmakers as they are expected to vote on immigration legislation in the House this week. Former Ohio governor John Kasich, a Republican who challenged Trump's nomination in 2016 and may do so again in 2020, said "we need to forcefully take a stand against this policy" in a fundraising solicitation. She made her choice.
She denied accounts that the policy amounted to "child abuse" or was comparable to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War Two. "It is time to fix it", Nielsen said.