Kamala Harris calls on Nielsen to resign over family separation policy

Greg Nash

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) on Monday called on Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to resign over the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy that separates families at the U.S.-Mexico border. 

“The government should be in the business of keeping families together, not tearing them apart,” Harris sad in statement. “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.” 

{mosads}Harris’s statement comes as many Democratic and Republican lawmakers are voicing outrage over the Trump administration’s policy that has resulted in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) separating minors crossing the U.S.-Mexico border from their parents.

But Harris in her statement pointed to other actions from the department, including its response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and a directive that makes it easier to detain pregnant women.  

“During her time as the manager of the government’s third largest agency, the Department has implemented a policy that has separated thousands of children from their families, issued a directive to make it easier to detain pregnant women, tried to use [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] DACA recipients as leverage to achieve the President’s anti-immigrant agenda, failed to address some of the agency’s most pressing management challenges and overseen the continued failed response to tragedy in Puerto Rico,” said Harris. 

Nielsen has adamantly defended the “zero tolerance” policy. On Monday she said children are treated well at immigration detention facilities, and that Americans should not believe the media’s coverage of the issue. 

Harris took issue, however, with DHS’s lack of transparency and demanded her resignation over the department’s failure “to provide complete answers to questions from me and my colleagues.”   

Tags family separation homeland security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen

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