House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi was asked about the Homeland Security secretary during a press conference in San Diego Monday, following a visit to immigrant detention facilities.
On Sunday, Nielsen tweeted that "We do not have a policy of separating families at the border". The Trump administration put in place the policy to arrest all migrants who illegally cross the USA border, including those seeking asylum, and because children can not be sent to the same detention facilities as their parents, they are separated.
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. "So they're essentially forcing people to cross the border illegally or leave them stranded (on the) very risky Mexican side of the border".
Sessions said the children "are taken care of", at an "enormous cost". Nielsen said. "Why would I ever create a policy that purposely does that?" We give them meals and we give them education and we give them medical care. The policy, set forth by Trump and implemented by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has come under sharp criticism by lawmakers, advocates and the religious community.
"I want that burden to be so uncomfortable for so many of us that it forces us to act, it places the public pressure on those in positions of public trust and power to do the right thing for our country", O'Rourke, who is seeking to unseat Republican Senator Ted Cruz, said to applause. "Change the laws!" he tweeted Monday. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said the policy is "inconsistent with our American values", adding that "we need to fix our immigration laws, but using children is not the answer".
"We have zero tolerance for your neglect and for your policy of selecting - of separating children from their parents", Pelosi said. If you make a false immigration claim, we will prosecute you. "This must stop." While Trump defended saying the United States will not be a migrant camp on his watch. As a result, the Homeland Security Department has ratcheted up criminal prosecutions of adult border crossers, removing any children traveling with them and detaining them separately.
"The ports of entry for those seeking asylum have been blocked", he said.
Among those to condemn Nielsen's performance was MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski, who accused her of "lying for a racist" and being another woman sent out to "mop up his mess".
She noted families were kept together during the Obama administration only until a court ruled that both accompanied and unaccompanied children must be released after 20 days. And yet, she kicked off the presser citing stats: "Since this time a year ago, there has been a 325% increase in unaccompanied alien children and a 435% increase in family units entering the country illegally".