DHS Secretary Nielsen: Past Administrations ‘Absolutely’ Separated Illegal Immigrant Families

By Melanie Arter | June 18, 2018 | 9:44pm EDT
DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen (Screenshot)

(CNSNews.com) - Separating illegal immigrant families at the border is not unique to the Trump administration, according to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

She said that contrary to media reports, previous administrations also separated illegal immigrant families at the border, not just the Trump administration.

During Monday’s White House press briefing, Nielsen was peppered with questions regarding the administration’s policy of handling illegal immigrant families at the border.

NBC News White House Correspondent Kristen Welker claimed separation of families at the border didn’t occur until Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a zero-tolerance policy.

“This never happened before he announced the zero-tolerance policy,” Welker said.

However, Nielsen said the administrations of Barack Obama administration and George W. Bush both separated families at the border.


NIELSEN: That's actually not true. So the last administration --


WELKER: Well, we've never seen this under previous administrations.


NIELSEN: -- the Obama administration, the Bush administration all separated families at the --


WELKER:: We didn't see kids separated from their parents.


NIELSEN: They absolutely did. They did -- their rate was less than ours, but they absolutely did do this. This is not new.


WELKER: There were unaccompanied minors, there's no doubt about that, But this --


NIELSEN: They separated families.


WELKER: -- separating kids at this rate from their parents is something new and specific to this administration once the Attorney General announced the zero-tolerance policy. So why doesn't the President pick up the phone and change the policy? He said he hates it.


NIELSEN: I think what the president is trying to do is find a long-term fix. …. Congress could fix this tomorrow.”



CNSNews Reader,

The media are hard at work weaving a web of confusion, misinformation, and conspiracy surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

CNSNews covers the stories that the liberal media are afraid to touch. It drives the national debate through real, honest journalism—not by misrepresenting or ignoring the facts.

CNSNews has emerged as the conservative media’s lynchpin for original reporting, investigative reporting, and breaking news. We are part of the only organization purely dedicated to this critical mission and we need your help to fuel this fight.

Donate today to help CNSNews continue to report on topics that the liberal media refuse to touch. $25 a month goes a long way in the fight for a free and fair media.

And now, thanks to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, you can make up to a $300 gift to the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization of your choice and use it as a tax deduction on your 2020 taxes, even if you take the standard deduction on your returns.

— The CNSNews Team



Sign up for our CNSNews Daily Newsletter to receive the latest news.