DHS Secretary Nielsen denies separation amounts to 'child abuse'

Department of Homeland Security Secretary ...

Posted: Jun 19, 2018 5:09 AM
Updated: Jun 19, 2018 5:09 AM

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen insisted conditions at the detention facilities are up to par, when asked by reporters if the Trump administration's policy of separating children from their parents at the border amounts to "child abuse."

"We have high standards. We give them meals and we give them education and we give them medical care. There are videos, there are TVs," Nielsen said in response to a question from CNN's Jeff Zeleny. "I visited the detention centers myself."

She said the "vast majority" of children being held in the detention facilities were sent to the US alone by their parents.

Nielsen also responded to criticism from multiple former first ladies to the administration's zero tolerance immigration stance, remarking that it is a serious issue but one that should be handled by Congress.

"What my response would be is calling attention to this matter is important," Nielsen said from the White House briefing room Monday. "This is a very serious issue that has resulted after years and years of Congress not taking action, so I would thank them both for their comments. I would thank them both for their concerns. I share their concerns. Congress is the one that needs to fix this."

Nielsen added: "It's not a policy. Our policy at DHS is to do what we're sworn to do, which is to enforce the law."

Asked specifically about the Japanese internment camps remark from former first lady Laura Bush, Nielsen said: "What I believe is that we should exercise our Democratic rights as Americans and fix the problem. It's a problem. Let's fix it."

The administration continued to falsely insist that only Congress can end the practice of separating children from their parents at the US border.

"We need Congress to fully fund our ability to hold families together through the immigration process. And until these loopholes are closed by Congress, it is not possible as a matter of law to detain and remove whole family units who arrive illegally in the United States," Nielsen said.

Pressed on why rates of separation are higher now compared to past administrations, Nielsen insisted Trump's hands were tied.

"I think the President is trying to find a long-term fix. So why don't we have Congress change the laws?" she said.

She denied that children were being used as a "pawn" in negotiations on Capitol Hill over an immigration measure that would include funding for Trump's promised border wall.

"The children are not being used as a pawn," she said. "We're trying to protect the children, which is why I'm asking Congress to act."

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 928028

Reported Deaths: 17618
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles3063277056
Riverside680501319
San Bernardino643671074
Orange597181475
San Diego56369888
Kern34154422
Fresno31321443
Sacramento26018500
Santa Clara24867406
Alameda23775463
San Joaquin21994492
Contra Costa18981246
Stanislaus17872401
Tulare17800292
Ventura14486166
Imperial13038338
San Francisco12320147
Monterey1161695
San Mateo11341161
Santa Barbara9919126
Sonoma9646136
Merced9623155
Kings850283
Solano763476
Marin7121127
Madera509476
Placer435359
San Luis Obispo426532
Yolo326660
Butte314353
Santa Cruz286125
Shasta204631
Napa200916
Sutter189712
San Benito146115
El Dorado13804
Yuba134610
Mendocino115621
Tehama9259
Lassen7721
Lake70417
Glenn6823
Nevada6358
Humboldt57110
Colusa5556
Calaveras34721
Amador33816
Tuolumne2886
Inyo24115
Siskiyou2210
Mono1822
Del Norte1811
Mariposa812
Plumas790
Modoc480
Trinity280
Alpine80
Sierra60
Unassigned00
Chico
Few Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 64°
Oroville
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 64°
Paradise
Few Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 64°
Chester
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 52°
Red Bluff
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 69°
Willows
Few Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 64°
We're closing out the month of October on a beautiful note weather-wise over northern California with plenty of sunshine and above-average temperatures. Halloween will bring slightly warmer temperatures and more sunshine.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events