Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, talks to reporters during the daily press briefing in the Brady press briefing room at the White House, in Washington, Wednesday, April 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen talks to reporters during the daily press briefing at the White House, Wednesday, April 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Kirstjen Nielsen officially approved family separation

After Donald Trump's government strongly denied that the separation of undocumented families on the border was an "official" policy, a new document has shown…


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In the middle of the crisis that the country is living regarding the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, the policy of "zero tolerance" of Donald Trump's government has taken a back seat (like everything that happens with this administration).

But, do you remember when Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen assured everyone that the government was not separating families?

In June, after widespread indignation caused by the more than 2,000 immigrant children separated from their families when trying to cross the border without documents, Nielsen said without qualms that "we are not doing any of that. We are only enforcing the laws passed by Congress."

Nielsen even wrote on Twitter that there was no "family separation policy" on June 17.

But new documents made public by Open the Government - and previously reported by the Washington Post - show that the internal decision to separate families was approved in writing by Nielsen.

Information obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) demonstrates that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) could "permissibly direct the separation of parents or legal guardians and minors held in immigration detention so that the parent or legal guardian can be prosecuted," also describing three options for implementing "zero tolerance.”

Among them, the option "recommended as the most effective" by DHS is "the prosecution of all adults crossing the border without authorization, including those presenting with a family unit."

While the memorandum is addressed to Nielsen, her signature at the end of the document was censored by an FOIA official "on privacy grounds," something that Open the Government calls "unacceptable" because it indicates "privacy exceptions to hide her role in major policy decisions."

Thanks to her authorization, Nielsen allowed the separation of thousands of families at the border and the retention of minors in a maneuver considered an "open violation of migratory rights" by international organizations and activists nationwide.

However, the government insists on appealing its right to keep children in custody for long periods of time, overlooking criminal records and the fundamental values of the United States.


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