Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO), Chief Deputy Whip, on June 19th, called for the resignation or firing of Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen over the agency’s implementation of the heartless “zero-tolerance” policy that is forcibly removing parents from their children at the U.S. border, along with her repeated lies about the policy and its impact.
Secretary Nielsen falsely blamed Democrats for the humanitarian crisis at a Monday press briefing and also issued a tweet stating, “We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period.” This denial comes in spite of a clear effort by the Trump administration to prosecute as many undocumented border crossings as possible, regardless of whether the individuals are crossing with children or whether they are seeking asylum.
“Enough is enough. Secretary Nielsen should resign or be fired from her post,” DeGette said. “She has overseen an unprecedented humanitarian crisis ripping away thousands of young children from their parents without a clear path to reunification.
“Worse yet, she denies any culpability for this tragedy while inexplicably blaming Democrats for creating it, despite our long-standing efforts to oppose family separation and end this cruel practice. Secretary Nielsen’s complete lack of understanding of the law, total insensitivity to the plight of these families and blatant disregard for facts make her unfit to serve the public in this or any capacity.”
“Secretary Nielsen’s complete lack of understanding of the law, total insensitivity to the plight of these families and blatant disregard for facts make her unfit to serve the public in this or any capacity.”
Congresswoman Diana DeGette
In February, DeGette and Democratic colleagues sent a letter to Secretary Nielsen expressing deep concern over the family separation policy as its enforcement was coming to light. She has raised the matter with other senior administration officials, called for hearings, and sounded the alarm repeatedly to keep public focus on this disgraceful practice.
DeGette is a sponsor of the newly-introduced Keep Families Together Act, which will prohibit the Department of Homeland Security from separating children from their parents, except in very narrow, extraordinary circumstances where it is in the children’s best interest.
This weekend, she will travel to McAllen, Texas with several other leading female members of Congress to observe government authorities in action and visit with children affected by the new family separation campaign.