Secretary Nielsen defends President Trump's national emergency declaration

H1 nielsen

H1 nielsen

House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) on Wednesday reprimanded DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen after she insisted that migrant children are not being kept in "cages".

Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Ill., questioned Nielsen about the practice of separating immigrant children from their parents on Wednesday during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on border security.

"At that same time their consulate or embassy-for purposes of issuing them travel papers-also asks them would you like to be removed with your children as you're removed". As the children are processed through, they are in some parts of those facilities.

Nieslen refused to answer - "I just don't know the context of his statement", she said - despite acknowledging a minute earlier that border apprehensions had decreased by several hundred thousand since 2000.

"For the record madame secretary, are we still using cages for children?" Thompson, a Democrat, persisted.

On all those fronts, Nielsen's responses will be illuminating, particularly after months of speculation that the secretary would step down or be fired. Thompson shot back. "I just want you to admit that the cages exist".

"The crisis at our border is no secret", she wrote.

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WATSON COLEMAN: What does a chain-link fence enclosed into a chamber on a concrete floor represent to you? "A cage?" she asked.

"So I went to the border", Nielsen replied.

The conservative congressman slammed Budget Committee Democrats, saying that the two parties' views on taxes and "the role of government" were "a difference in philosophy" before stating that it was "literally not imagination to bring up anecdotes".

"In what sense?" Coleman asked.

Since last summer, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has maintained that the US government does not detain migrants in "inhumane fenced cages", despite an abundance of evidence to the contrary.

Nielsen backed President Donald Trump's declaration of an emergency at the southern border after he failed to get adequate funding for a long-promised border wall.

"In February, we saw a 30 percent jump over the previous month, with agents apprehending or encountering almost 75,000 aliens", Nielsen told the House Committee on Homeland Security.

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