Sen. Kamala Harris calls on DHS Sec. Nielsen to resign over ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy

WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 23: U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) (3rd L) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) (2nd L) listen during a news conference on immigration in front of the U.S. Capitol May 23, 2018 in Washington, DC. Sen. Harris, joined by other female Democratic congressional members, held a news conference “to show support for immigration and refugee policies that protect the rights and safety of women and children.” (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Monday, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) called on Homeland Security Secretary Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to resign over the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy that rips families apart 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.”

On Sunday, Nielsen tweeted that “We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period.”

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Monday, she told the National Sheriffs Association in New Orleans, “We will not apologize for the job we do, or the job law enforcement does, or the job the American people expect us to do.”

The Democratic senator, who sits on the Homeland Security Committee, says her issues with Nielsen also include her “record of misleading statements” and Homeland Security’s “failed response” to hurricane damage last year in Puerto Rico.

Harris’ scathing statement comes on the heels of many Democratic and Republican lawmakers joining forces to voice their outrage over the Trump administration’s severe immigration polices.

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“I have, since March of 2017, repeatedly asked for complete data on the number of children separated and what training and protocol exists for carrying out such separations,” Harris said. “In response, the leadership of this department has routinely failed to provide complete answers to questions from me and my colleagues.

“The department’s lack of transparency under Secretary Nielsen’s leadership, combined with her record of misleading statements including yesterday’s denial that the administration even had a policy of separating children at the border, are disqualifying,” she opined.

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