Shaheen Says Kirstjen Nielsen Should Resign as Homeland Security Secretary

Jun 22, 2018

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
Credit NPR

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said Friday that Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen should resign unless she promptly implements a plan to reunite children separated from their parents at the southern border.

In the face of international outcry, President Donald Trump on Wednesday issued an executive order to stop separating migrant children from their parents, but confusion and uncertainty remains, with no clear plan to reunite families. Shaheen, a Democrat, said Nielsen was responsible for what she called the "callous implementation" of a "deeply immoral" policy and must act quickly.

"It's unconscionable that this policy was carried out without any plans or procedures in place to eventually reunite these families," Shaheen said in a statement. "If she cannot promptly produce a plan to reunite every child with his or her parents, she should resign."

More than a dozen other Democrats in Congress called for Nielsen's resignation before Trump reversed the policy. California Sen. Kamala Harris, who did so on Monday, planned to visit a San Diego detention facility Friday. On Twitter , she criticized the executive order and said the families should be reunited immediately.

Asked about Shaheen's comments Friday, a Homeland Security spokesman referred to a tweet he posted on Monday.

"Instead of criticizing a government official who is actually doing the job she was nominated, confirmed & sworn to do and enforcing the laws passed by Congress, the obstructionists in Congress should get to work to secure our borders, end legal loopholes & protect American lives," Tyler Houlton tweeted .