DHS chief defends Trump administration’s migrant policies

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“This misreporting by Members, press & advocacy groups must stop. It is irresponsible and unproductive. As I have said many times before, if you are seeking asylum for your family, there is no reason to break the law and illegally cross between ports of entry,” Nielsen said.

This misreporting by Members, press & advocacy groups must stop. It is irresponsible and unproductive. As I have said many times before, if you are seeking asylum for your family, there is no reason to break the law and illegally cross between ports of entry.

– Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen (@SecNielsen) June 17, 2018

“You are not breaking the law by seeking asylum at a port of entry,” she continued. “For those seeking asylum at ports of entry, we have continued the policy from previous Administrations and will only separate if the child is in danger, there is no custodial relationship between ‘family’ members, or if the adult has broken a law.”

You are not breaking the law by seeking asylum at a port of entry.

– Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen (@SecNielsen) June 17, 2018

For those seeking asylum at ports of entry, we have continued the policy from previous Administrations and will only separate if the child is in danger, there is no custodial relationship between ‘family’ members, or if the adult has broken a law.

– Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen (@SecNielsen) June 17, 2018

“DHS takes very seriously its duty to protect minors in our temporary custody from gangs, traffickers, criminals, and abuse,” she added.

DHS takes very seriously its duty to protect minors in our temporary custody from gangs, traffickers, criminals and abuse.

– Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen (@SecNielsen) June 17, 2018

Critics, including lawmakers, have been quick to pounce on Nielsen’s tweets.

If this isn’t the White House policy, please tell the officials who I spoke with in Tornillo today who believe it is. Either own it or change it. Scratch that – just change it. #KeepFamiliesTogether https://t.co/GxyzG1QrmZ

– Rep. Joe Kennedy III (@RepJoeKennedy) June 17, 2018

.@secnielsen, this isn’t true. I just met with officials at Border Patrol Processing Center in McAllen, Texas, who told me 1,147 children have been separated from parents at their facility. https://t.co/1Z5WXMClbJ

– David Cicilline (@davidcicilline) June 17, 2018

Liar. https://t.co/eQMGrSCfil

– Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) June 17, 2018

The tweets come as the White House faces bipartisan criticism over its practice of separating families who cross the border into the U.S. illegally as an incentive for migrants to stop crossing the border illegally.

Republican Sens. (Ariz.) and (Maine) requested clarity on the policy the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Sevices in a letter on Sunday.

Democrats have also hit back against the policy.

Sessions invoked the Bible to defend the policy on Thursday, urging law and order at the border.

“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order,” Sessions said during a speech in Fort Wayne, Indiana. “Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful.”

“The Democrats are forcing the breakup of families at the Border with their horrible and cruel legislative agenda. Any Immigration Bill MUST HAVE full funding for the Wall, end Catch & Release, Visa Lottery and Chain, and go to Merit Based Immigration. Go for it! WIN!” the president tweeted.

The Democrats are forcing the breakup of families at the Border with their horrible and cruel legislative agenda. Any Immigration Bill MUST HAVE full funding for the Wall, end Catch & Release, Visa Lottery and Chain, and go to Merit Based Immigration. Go for it! WIN!

– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2018