'We will not apologize': Trump DHS chief defends immigration policy

President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at the White House Friday

"The government should be in the business of keeping families together, not tearing them apart".

"The Department's lack of transparency under Secretary Nielsen's leadership combined with her record of misleading statements including yesterday's denial that the Administration even had a policy of separating children at the border, are disqualifying". I have, since March of 2017, repeatedly asked for complete data on the number of children separated and what training and protocol exists for carrying out such separations. She added, "And the government should have a commitment to transparency and accountability". Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen targeted those groups by name in a series of tweets on Sunday night. It was reported last month that she was considering resigning after a lashing from Trump.

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

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Wrote Sen. Tina Smith, who succeeded Al Franken in Minnesota: 'Kirstjen Nielsen has misled the Senate, from the White House podium, and the American people about the Trump Administration's cruel policy of separating children from their parents at the border.' She sent out an online petition calling for her to step down. Almost 2,000 minors have been separated from their families in the past six weeks since Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a zero-tolerance policy where everyone caught crossing the border illegally will be prosecuted. "The Democrats have to change their law". U.S. Customs and Border Protection falls under the umbrella of the DHS.

Nielsen and her agency have been intensely criticized over the "zero tolerance" policy to prosecute more people crossing the border illegally, which has led to thousands of children being separated from their families. Children can't go to jail with their parents, so they are separated.

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