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Say What? DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen Says the U.S. Government Won’t Shoot Immigrants “Right Now.”

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The following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, regarding Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s statement that the administration has no plans to shoot immigrant seeking asylum “right now.”

Yes, we’ve come to that. The head of DHS is leaving open the possibility of state-sponsored violence directed at innocent people fleeing violence and seeking safety. A high-level official of the U.S. government refuses to foreclose a policy of shooting at those exercising the perfectly legal exercise of the right to apply for asylum. We expect that kind of hate speech from the fever swamps of the violence-prone far right. But from the head of the Department of Homeland Security?

This is unacceptable.

For months, Nielsen and other top administration officials have lied about their policies in an ugly attempt to divide and distract Americans. They want to distract from their indefensible record of dismantling healthcare, gutting protections for the 130 million Americans with preexisting conditions, lining the pockets of wealthy donors through tax cuts for the super-rich, and putting Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block.  

But, now, they’re distracting from their failure to protect Americans from domestic terrorism.

While the nation reels from attempts to assassinate former Presidents and leading political figures, Nielsen is perched at the border in Arizona to leisurely talking to Fox News about a caravan that is 1,000 miles away. Given the unprecedented attack on homeland security, shouldn’t the Secretary of Homeland Security be at headquarters in Washington, DC leading the investigation into domestic terrorism that threatens homeland security? Instead, she’s pitching fear, pleasing her boss, and trying to influence an election.

Meanwhile, 47 kids remain in federal custody, separated from their families. Fourteen of those children were “newly discovered” by an administration that engaged in state-sponsored kidnapping and then lied about it. A miscount? No. More lies.

If the Republicans maintain control of Congress, the terrorizing of families will continue unchecked. For the sake of our nation, Nielsen and the entire Trump team must be reined in and held accountable. The recklessness and racism behind this administration’s approach to immigrants and refugees won’t stop unless voters stop it.