On Tuesday, US Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen appeared in front of the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee to talk about a range of issues, from the alleged use of drones by ISIS to the department’s deployment of more K-9s to intercede deadly fentanyl (even though there’s evidence that police dogs are not an effective method for finding drugs).
When it was US Senator Kamala Harris’ turn, she grilled Nielsen on one of the department’s most controversial policies: separating young children from their parents and putting them under state supervision.
“The President directed you to separate parents from their children as a deterrent. Is that correct?” Harris asked.
Nielsen sharply denied that. “Anyone who breaks the law, you’ll be prosecuted. We will refer you to a prosecution if you have broken a US law,” she said.
“Your agency will be separating children from their parents” Harris insisted.
“We’ll be prosecuting people who have broken law,” Nielson shot back. When Harris demanded to know what protocols they had in place to make sure the separations cause as little trauma as possible, Nielson said she’d provide the committee with the information at a later date.