Kirstjen Nielsen is trying to cover up the horrors she enacted at DHS with a barrage of lies
Because apparently it wasn’t enough to have just one Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary terrorizing America, former agency head Kirstjen Nielsen resumed her rehabilitation tour and appeared at a conference affiliated with another former Trump official, Anthony Scaramucci, this week, where she continued to do what she consistently did while in office (other than separate families): try to save her ass.
In one moment from The Mooch’s event, Nielsen, who signed family separation into place, yet again lied and claimed there was no family separation policy. In a second moment, Nielsen claimed “it’s so past time” to give permanent status to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. But actions speak louder: Nielsen supported the decision to rescind DACA.
Maggie Haberman of The New York Times gave Nielsen some great unpaid PR help by tweeting this gem of a quote from that conference this week without any context:
“It’s time. It’s so past time,” Nielsen says of giving “the daca population a permanent status.”— Maggie Haberman (@Maggie Haberman)1595445654.0
Of course, the context being that Nielsen’s support for deporting DACA recipients was official. Like, as official as it gets:
In 2018, then DHS Sec. Nielsen issued a memo stating that she supported the decision to rescind and wind down DACA:… https://t.co/pbhl1X9ct4— Hamed Aleaziz (@Hamed Aleaziz)1595446430.0
Just in case there was any doubt left in the air, Nielsen’s DHS added some touches to let you know the distain was clear. “When a DREAM Act deal seemed possible,” tweeted immigration attorney Aaron Hall, “Nielsen's Department of Homeland Security's press shop started a concentrated campaign to sink it, including saying that the bi-partisan deal ‘ignores the lessons of 9/11.’ Not feeling this rehab tour.”
Neither are we, especially as her appearance in the conference made it clear she remains unrepentant about her cruelest act in office, as a main architect of the family separation policy:
I'm watching Kirstjen Nielsen talk to @Scaramucci live. She literally said "there was no policy to separate familie… https://t.co/n67aHYCVDX— Jacob Soboroff (@Jacob Soboroff)1595446699.0
Nielsen lied about the policy numerous times while in office, to legislators, to the press, and to us. In a timeline on the policy, reporter Jack Herrera wrote that in May 2018, “California Senator Kamala Harris grilled Nielsen in a Senate hearing,” where “Nielsen falsely denied that administration had a policy of separating children from their parents.”
He writes that the next month Nielsen again lied and falsely claimed during a White House press conference that "[t]his administration did not create a policy of separating families at the border.” She also tweeted the same lie from her official government account:
We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period.— Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen (@Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen)1529272342.0
We wrote about that memo Soboroff is referencing here back in 2018. It exists. It’s there. She signed it, yet lied about it and is still lying about.
“We have the secretary of Homeland Security absolutely denying all of this, under oath, to Congress,” a frustrated Jeff Merkley of Oregon told CNN's John Berman last year in calling on the FBI to open an investigation into perjury. “I am just sick and tired of this administration lying to the American people, lying to Congress, doing it under oath, and it’s time for real accountability.”
A count from late last year said that nearly 5,500 children were stolen by the Trump administration since 2017, 1,556 of those kids in the months before any policy was officially implemented the following spring. The administration is still trying to separate more families:
With last week's 10-day extension of the July 17th deadline to release children from ICE family detention, we've re… https://t.co/1zjHF0o2u7— RAICES (@RAICES)1595514219.0
Nielsen doesn’t care about what she helped carry out, so she has nothing to move on from. But the children kidnapped under the policy haven’t moved on, and neither should we about what our government did to them, and is trying to do to them right now, in our name.