Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenUS to restart 'Remain in Mexico' program following court order Far-left bullies resort to harassing, shaming Kyrsten Sinema — it won't work Ex-Trump official: 'No. 1 national security threat I've ever seen' is GOP MORE told lawmakers Wednesday that all migrant parents deported from the U.S. have been given multiple opportunities to take their children with them.
Nielsen's comment while testifying before the House Homeland Security Committee came as she defended the Trump administration's policies that resulted in family separations at the southern border.
"There was no parent who has been deported, to my knowledge, without multiple opportunities to take their children with them," Nielsen said in response to a question by Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon ThompsonGOP's McCarthy has little incentive to work with Jan. 6 panel GOP Rep. Katko, who voted to impeach Trump, won't run for reelection Hillicon Valley — Tech giants hit with Jan. 6 panel subpoenas MORE (D-Miss.).
Nielsen said that parents set to be deported by the U.S. are asked by authorities whether they want to take their U.S. citizen children with them, and again by immigration judges who oversee their cases, many times in conjunction with nongovernmental organizations and the parents' home-country consular officers.
It's unclear how many parents have been deported without their children, something Democrats pressed the Trump administration official about during her testimony Wednesday.
Those separations generally occur when undocumented parents have U.S. citizen children who are not subject to deportation.