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The following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
We strongly recommend that the Senate reject the nomination of Ronald Vitiello to head up Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
As our generation’s darkest moral scandal – the separation of innocent children from safety-seeking parents – continues to enrage the nation, the idea of rewarding one of its architects is unthinkable. Vitiello, one of the DHS leaders responsible for the ongoing family separation crisis, needs to be held accountable, not promoted.
With Vitiello in a leadership position, CBP has exhibited a stunning lack of planning, common sense and basic humanity in implementing its ‘zero tolerance’ policy. This policy has resulted in: children torn from their mothers’ and fathers’ arms; the detention of children in cages; parents tricked into deportation without their children; family separations with no system in place to reunite children and parents; the intervention of the federal courts to order that families be reunited; and an astounding 572 children still apart from their parents nearly two weeks after the court-ordered deadline.
Without a doubt, Vitiello has been deeply engaged in decisions and directives that targeted families with kids, traumatized those families, and did so recklessly and unlawfully. To add insult to injury, Vitiello and other senior staff within DHS refuse to admit to any wrongdoing. This isn’t a moment to confirm such an official. It’s a moment to demand accountability, resignations and investigations.
Finally, the simple fact that DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen nominated Vitiello for this position is reason enough to reject his nomination. With Nielsen being a ‘yes sir’ implementer of Trump’s cruelty and cynicism, the last thing we need is ‘yes man’ for her.