A day after Trump’s Secretary of Homeland Security was widely criticized for claiming there is no policy to separate children and parents at the southern border – when nearly 12,000 children are in federal custody – Kirstjen Neilsen went on a media offensive today to defend herself, the DHS and Trump administration’s immigration policies.
Speaking in the White House press room today, Nielsen aggressively defended the separation of children and parents, claiming it is a much smaller problem than has been reported.
She said about 10,000 of the 12,000 children being held in captivity came to the border without their parents, often accompanied by an adult. ,
It became clear many of the children, some as young as two-years-old, who have been snatched from their mothers and fathers represent cases that in the past would have been a matter of asylum:
“Right now our asylum system fails to assist asylum seekers who legitimately need it,” said Nielsen.
“We are a country of compassion,” she added soulfully. “We’re a country of heart. We must fix the system so those who truly need asylum can receive it.”
That heart and flowers message sounds good until you realize a week ago the Trump administration completely changed the rules for asylum seekers.
Under Obama, if a person asked for asylum and made the case that their home country is dangerous for them, or their domestic situation is so deadly, so they had no choice but to flee, that person was given a hearing.
If a federal judge agreed that the person and their family were in danger, they would be allowed to stay in the U.S.
Nielsen repeatedly insisted that the Trump administration has not made any new rules or laws, only that they are now enforcing the laws on the books.
In the case of asylum, that is a lie.
As of June 11, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that the U.S. would no longer allow people to enter even if they have a valid asylum claim because of domestic violence or gang activity that threatened them at home:
“Generally, claims by aliens pertaining to domestic violence or gang violence perpetrated by non-governmental actors will not qualify for asylum,” Sessions announced.
“The mere fact that a country may have problems effectively policing certain crimes — such as domestic violence or gang violence — or that certain populations are more likely to be victims of crime, cannot itself establish an asylum claim.”
Nielsen made it sound like a minor change today:
“What has changed is that we no longer exempt entire classes of people who break the law,” she said. “Everyone is subject to prosecution.”
What that means is someone who came to the U.S. and crossed the border illegally to seek asylum, which they once thought possible, suddenly find it is now impossible.
That person thus changes from an asylum seeker to a criminal in the eyes of the Trump administration.
The crime? Illegally crossing the border.
The punishment? A prison sentence and the confiscation of their children.
Nielsen went out of the way to talk about how well the children are being treated; how they are fed, educated and given toys to play with.
What she doesn’t say – but which shows in videos from these camps – is that the children are crowded into large wire cages that resemble dog kennesl, and kept under constant surveillance.
Now there are so many children to care for the feds have hired private prison companies to care for them, and plans are to build a tent city in the desert in the middle of summer to house them in places like El Paso, Texas, where the heat will be a terrible problem.
In another false note, Nielsen compared the plight of these children and their parents to a criminal being caught, convicted and sent to jail in the U.S.
“Let’s be clear if an American commits a crime anywhere in the U.S., they would be sent to jail and be separated from their family. This is not a controversial idea.”
That is quite different from an immigrant who is suddenly arrested because asylum has been eliminated, has their children immediately torn from them, and has no idea where the child has been sent and when, if ever, they will see them again.
An American who is arrested is usually given bail and then spends weeks, months, even years before the process is completed and they go to jail. Unless they’re wealthy and defraud the government, like Paul Manafort, who was only recently sent back to prison after he was indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in December.
The lies roll off Nielsen’s lips so easily you can understand why she works for the Liar-in-Chief himself, who continues to falsely blame the Democrats for the whole problem.
Nielsen did some of that as well, but she was careful not to be too specific, complaining instead about Congress passing laws that she now must enforce even though the same laws under George W. Bush and President Obama were interpreted very differently.
Nielson also talked about the need to close loopholes through legislation, which is code for “pass Trump’s border wall budget and everything else he wants” which will stifle both legal and illegal immigration.
These are people who left their moral compass behind long ago and now operate like a police state that is separate from the people it watches rather than answer to them.
It is a disaster that is not going to change until there is a massive political change in America.
Neilsen’s remarks can be seen in the two embedded videos below:
NIELSEN, lying, says "this administration did not create a policy of separating families on the border." pic.twitter.com/EDo51aRCSn
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 18, 2018
NIELSEN: "Those who criticize the enforcement of our laws have offered only one countermeasure — Open borders. The quick release of all illegal alien families and the decision not to enforce our laws." (Family separation isn't a law!) pic.twitter.com/VFaSuq7m6c
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 18, 2018