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DHS Secretary Nielsen Must Resign

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Showing No Shame, Taking No Responsibility, and Doing Nothing to Clean Up the Disaster She Created, She has Failed the Leadership Test

The Trump administration continues to drag its feet in reunifying families, with over 550 children still separated from their parents more than two weeks after the court-issued deadline for reunification. Meanwhile, every day brings more stories highlighting how the trauma of family separation has been compounded by both the government’s stunning institutional cruelty.

Who executed the policy that has led to this moral travesty? The Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Who is in charge of DHS? Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. What is she doing to acknowledge the scandal, to take responsibility for the gross injustices and to bring families that DHS traumatized back together? Nothing.

That is why a growing number of members of Congress and ordinary Americans are calling for DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to resign. The members of Congress that have called for Nielsen’s resignation to date: Sen. Dick Durbin, Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Sen. Mazie Hirono, Sen. Jeff Merkley, Sen. Tina Smith, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Duckworth, Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Smith, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Ted Lieu, Rep. Jimmy Gomez, Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragan, Rep. Kathleen Rice, Rep. Eliot Engel, and Rep. Donald Payne. Petitions calling for Secretary Nielsen’s resignation are being driven by Senator Dick Durbin and the National Domestic Workers Alliance.

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

When the history of this dark chapter in American history is finally written, we will look back at the irresponsibility, mendacity and cruelty of DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in stunned amazement. First, she denied that the policy existed. Some 3,000 family separations later, she defended the practice as good policy. Once the nationwide disgust registered with this administration and the federal court ordered the families to be reunited, she has disappeared from view.

Nielsen has presided over what must be described as state-sanctioned kidnapping and child abuse. Her outrageous attempts to avoid responsibility and wash her hands of this moral crisis is an act of profound cowardice. She should resign her position and make way for someone capable of adhering to basic standards of decency, humanity and accountability.