DHS Secretary to Gutierrez: ‘Calling Me a Liar Are Fighting Words’

Melanie Arter | December 20, 2018 | 3:43pm EST
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DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (Screenshot)

(CNSNews.com) – DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen testified before the House Judiciary Committee Thursday, telling Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) that she takes offense to him saying she lied about the separation of illegal immigrant families.

“Calling me a liar are fighting words. I’m not a liar. We’ve never had a policy for family separation. I’m happy to walk the gentleman through it again. A policy of family separation would mean that any family that I encountered in the interior, I would separate. It would mean that any family that I found at a port of entry I would separate. It would mean that every single family that I found illegally crossing, we would separate. We did none of those,” she said.

 



Nielsen said instead she upheld the laws that Congress passed and prosecuted those who came to the U.S. illegally.

“As far as not being compassionate, let me just tell you what I have done. Of course, he couldn’t be bothered to stay, so I’m happy to tell the rest of the committee. What we have done is we have worked extensively with the northern triangle countries to find ways to help vulnerable populations as soon in their journeys as possible,” she said.

“The current system puts them at the hands of those who prey on them and who abuse them, so we’ve worked extensively to increase asylum capacity to help them as soon as possible. We’ve worked on child exploitation, including very unfortunate new crimes which are live distance abuse where somebody goes online and directs an abuser on how to abuse a child as they watch. That is a crime that DHS investigates and prosecutes,” Nielsen said.

“We have worked against traffickers. We have the first anti-smuggling, anti-trafficking strategy this January. We do investigations. We help survivors. I take personal offense on behalf of the 240,000 men and women of the Department of Homeland Security,” she added.

 

Gutierrez used his time to blast the Trump administration and President Donald Trump specifically for lying. He also called Nielsen “remorseless.”

“The majority on this committee must think you’re doing a fantastic job, because they’ve ordered this hearing so that you could come before us and look tough and remorseless just in the time for the holidays – remorseless secretary during the holidays – Christmas, as they like to make sure and specify. I suspect that if you still have your job - which seems to always be a big question – in three weeks, we’ll see if you still have the same sympathetic questions when you come back,” he said.

The congressman praised the administration for doing one thing “more than any other administration in American history, and that is lie.”

“I still remember the first day when the press secretary came out and said this is the largest inauguration crowd ever in the history of America. Of course everybody laughed, because there were more people at other inaugurations,” Gutierrez said, referring to former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

“The president’s own remarks on a world stage – the UN General Assembly – said he had accomplished more as president than anyone before him, and the world laughed, because the evidence was plain to see that that just wasn’t true. But specifically in the area of homeland security, lying has become elevated to now an astounding level of mendacity. President Trump descended the golden escalators at Trump Tower to announce his candidacy by saying Mexico was sending us the worst rapists, murderers,” he said.

“Then he said he was required to break up migrant families, because of bad laws that the Democrats gave us. How about the one about Mexico paying for the wall? You want $5 million—you want $5 billion, and you want the American public to pay for it. Isn’t Mexico supposed to pay for it? Isn’t that the campaign promise? No, that’s just another lie,” Gutierrez said.

“And all about the ones about the massive invasion, the immigrant caravan that would ruin America? How about when Trump said good people among the Nazis and white supremacists demonstrating. That time nobody was laughing, but the evidence was plain to see, and these are gigantic lies. I remember when the CHC met with your predecessor, your boss now – the former secretary of homeland security -and he dropped a few whoppers himself,” he said.

“The most memorable for me was when he sat – you weren’t there – when he sat with the Hispanic Congressional Caucus in the Capitol in a room full of Hispanic members of Congress – most of whose parents and grandparents were immigrants that didn’t speak English when they came here, and he said to us, and he looked us in the eyes, and he said, ‘The reason we can’t have too many poor and uneducated Latinos in America is because they will never assimilate into American culture like previous waves of immigrants – referring to the Irish, the Italians in the region,” the congressman added.

Then Gutierrez accused Nielsen of lying by saying the administration did not have a policy of separating illegal immigrant families at the border.

“It seems like you agree with Tucker Carlson that immigrants only bring danger and dirt and division, but I have to say the all-time record for lying in the face of all the evidence was a tweet you, Madam Secretary, sent out on June the 17th, and it says: ‘We do not have a policy of separating families at the border, period,’” he said.

“That’s your Twitter account. That’s what you put that out. Yet, you came here today to tell us exactly is your policy of separating families and children from their families – another lie,” Gutierrez said. “It is repugnant to me and astonishing to me that during Christmas – I like to call them the holiday season to be inclusive – but during Christmas, because the majority always wants to just call it Christmas, but during Christmas - a time in which we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, a Jesus Christ who had to flee for his life with Mary and Joseph.

“Thank God there wasn’t a wall that stopped him from seeking refuge in Egypt. Thank God that wall wasn’t there, and thank God there wasn’t an administration like this or he would have too have perished on the 28th, on the day of innocence when Herod ordered the murder of every child under two years of age. Maybe I haven’t gone a lot to Bible school, but I know that. Thank God. Shame on everybody that separates children and allows them to stay at the other side of border fearing death, fearing hunger, fearing sickness,” he said.

“Shame on us for wearing our badge of Christianity at Christmas and allow the secretary to come here and lie,” Gutierrez added.

 

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