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Harris calls for DHS secretary to resign over family separations at the border

California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris on Monday called for the resignation of Department of Homeland Security Secr...

Posted: Jun 19, 2018 12:17 AM
Updated: Jun 19, 2018 12:17 AM

California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris on Monday called for the resignation of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen as a result of immigration policy that has resulted in family separations at the US border.

"The government should be in the business of keeping families together, not tearing them apart," Harris, a rising star in the Democratic Party, said in a statement. She added, "And the government should have a commitment to transparency and accountability. Under Secretary Nielsen's tenure, the Department of Homeland Security has a track record of neither. As a result, she must resign."

The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately return a request for comment on Harris' resignation call.

Earlier on Monday, Nielsen defended the Trump administration's immigration policy, saying, "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."

The Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy at the border has resulted in thousands of family separations. The policy hasn't deterred immigrants from trying to enter the country illegally, internal Department of Homeland Security documents obtained by CNN show Monday.

Harris has previously criticized the separation of undocumented children from their parents, calling it "human rights abuse" -- and has frequently and famously butted heads with Nielsen and her predecessor John Kelly. But Monday's statement marks the first time the Democratic senator has called for the DHS secretary's resignation, her office confirmed to CNN.

The administration's "zero-tolerance" policy has sparked a backlash from Democrats and condemnation from some Republicans as well, including former first lady Laura Bush, who called it "cruel" and "immoral" in a Washington Post op-ed.

In a series of tweets on Monday, Nielsen said, "Border security and immigration enforcement are complex topics" that can't "be reduced to media soundbites." The DHS secretary went on to call for Congress to take action to "secure our borders" and said, "I will not stand by while our immigration system continues to deteriorate."

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 914888

Reported Deaths: 17460
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles3020777027
Riverside669931303
San Bernardino633671073
Orange589801454
San Diego55210877
Kern33928416
Fresno30969439
Sacramento25601491
Santa Clara24425392
Alameda23471462
San Joaquin21729489
Contra Costa18763242
Stanislaus17714398
Tulare17590288
Ventura14330165
Imperial12967336
San Francisco12189140
Monterey1141990
San Mateo11198159
Santa Barbara9827122
Merced9531155
Sonoma9494136
Kings826483
Solano744576
Marin7096129
Madera503774
Placer420757
San Luis Obispo417432
Yolo321959
Butte309552
Santa Cruz280825
Napa196616
Shasta195431
Sutter186512
San Benito144215
El Dorado13514
Yuba132310
Mendocino113621
Tehama8928
Lassen7661
Lake69816
Glenn6713
Nevada6238
Humboldt56810
Colusa5516
Calaveras34218
Amador33116
Tuolumne2754
Inyo23115
Siskiyou2050
Del Norte1801
Mono1802
Mariposa792
Plumas700
Modoc360
Trinity270
Sierra60
Alpine30
Unassigned00
Chico
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Oroville
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Paradise
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Chester
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Willows
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Winds have calmed down but we remain dry. Temperatures will be in the upper-70s to low-80s for the rest of the week. This quiet weather is good for fire danger but unfortunate since no rain is in the forecast.
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