A growing number of lawmakers are calling on Kirstjen Nielsen to resign

  • Several lawmakers have called on Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to resign.
  • Nielsen has gotten a rush of backlash for her refusal to apologise or acknowledge the role of President Donald Trump’s administration in the so-called zero-tolerance policy.

Several lawmakers have called on Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to resign.

Sen. Kamala Harris, a Democrat from California, led the charge Monday, issuing a statement and tweeting a petition for Nielsen to resign over her role in the Trump’s administration zero-tolerance policy that has separated over 2,000 migrant children from their families.

Harris’ statement pointed to Nielsen’s recent “lack of transparency” and “misleading statements” about the policy as cause for her to step down.

“The government should be in the business of keeping families together, not tearing them apart,”Harris wrote. “And the government should have a commitment to transparency and accountability. Under Secretary Nielsen’s tenure, the Department of Homeland Security has a track record of neither. As a result, she must resign.”

When House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was asked about Harris’ statement after she visited a Texas detention center, Pelosi agreed.

“We have zero tolerance for your neglect and for your policy of selecting – of separating children from their parents,” Pelosi said.

Pelosi also tweeted to engage her followers in pushing for Nielsen’s resignation.

Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith, a Democrat, also called for Nielsen’s resignation in a tweet and statement originally posted on her Facebook page, saying she wanted to hold “this administration accountable” over the “plainly wrong” separation of children and Nielsen had “lost the credibility” needed to head the agency.

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Several other Congressional Democrats also took to Twitter to call for Nielsen’s resignation:

Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono both made on-air remarks Monday urging Nielsen to resign.

And Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley also tweeted urging Nielsen to resign Tuesday morning.

Merkley’s tweet references Nielsen’s tense appearance at a White House press briefing Monday, where she refused to acknowledge or apologise for the policy.

Nielsen repeated a false claim often touted by Trump, saying “Congress alone” can fix the problem of dealing with families at the border, citing “loopholes” that are a popular talking point among Trump officials, but none of which mandate that families are to be separated at the border.

At an appearance earlier that day speaking to the National Sheriffs’ Association, Nielsen defended the policy, saying her and her fellow authorities “will not apologise for the job we do or for the job law enforcement does for doing the job that the American people expect us to do.”

Nielsen’s statements to the press Monday are part of a streak of contradictions and falsehoods in statements from Trump administration officials trying to explain or defend the policy.

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