Kirstjen Nielsen Will Have to Get Back to You About How Many People Have Died on Her Watch 


On Thursday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen appeared before the House Judiciary Committee to offer testimony about why, and how, a 7-year-old child under her agency’s custody died. But Nielsen, who maintains that the Trump administration never had a policy of separating families at the border, did not seem to know much about how her department operates.

When Rep. David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island, asked Nielsen how many people have died under DHS’s custody, she said didn’t know. “Did I understand you correctly to say that, as you sit here today, you do not know how many human beings have died while in custody of the department that you lead, and in preparation for today’s hearing, you didn’t ascertain that number?”

“I don’t have an exact figure for you,” she said.

“I’m talking about people who have died in your custody. You don’t have the number?”

“I will get back to you with the number,” she said.

After Cicilline entered into Congressional record reports of children who have died under the custody of the Customs and Border Patrol, Nielsen countered by entering “every single migrant that the Customs and Border Patrol has saved” and the “all the communities that ICE protects by pulling child exploiters, smugglers and traffickers off of the street.”

Nielsen also didn’t seem to know exactly “how many legal points of entry” there are at the U.S.-Mexico border, was not aware of the overwhelming research that “say immigrants, both documented & undocumented, commit less crimes than native-born Americans.” She again repeated the lie that the administration does not have a policy that separates families at the border.

So what does Nielsen know? That America “need wall.”

“From Congress, I would ask for wall,” she said during the hearing. “We need wall.”

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