DHS Head Tells Hispanic Caucus Immigrant Family Unifications On-Track
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen came face-to-face on Wednesday in a closed-door meeting where she reportedly said the government knows the identities and whereabouts of every child and parent of those separated at the border. However, CHC members were skeptical about this claim, as well as Nielsen’s assurances that family reunifications were on-track for today’s court-set deadline mandating the federal government to bring together all separated children and their families. “That’s absolutely impossible. They still have hundreds of parents -- they don’t even know where they are. They’ve deported them. How in the hell are they gonna reunify them by tomorrow? They don’t even know where they are,”Congressman Juan Vargas (D-CA) said. Members say that the Secretary provided no statistics to back up her assertion. Congressman Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) did not mince words or hold back -- he said that he told Nielsen that "she is committing crimes against humanity, that she is a child abuser" and that she is "an accomplice of Donald Trump's racist regime." Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) pushed Nielsen on the need for a “reunification plan for parents who have already been deported, and needs to ensure that only parents who pose a serious, credible threat to their kids are being deemed ‘ineligible’ for reunification. … Secretary Nielsen needs to start telling Congress and the American people the truth.” AndCongresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA) said that while the CHC didn’t get many answers from Nielsen, the Secretary agreed to meet with them again, though they “don’t know when,” she said. “We hope to get more answers because we got very limited answers today.” For her part, Nielsen claimed the one-hour meeting was “very productive” though “very frank.” More on the meeting here.