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March 29, 2019

Chairman Thompson Statement on Secretary Nielsen’s Letter to Congress

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement on Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s letter to Congress on the humanitarian situation at the border:

“In her letter to Congress, the Secretary continues to confuse and mislead on the situation at the border and how we got to this point. President Trump’s border security and immigration policies have failed, and the Administration deserves much of the blame for making the difficult situation at the border worse. 

“Not once in her four-page letter did the Secretary acknowledge the Department is continuing to block families trying to present themselves at ports of entry, pushing them to areas between the ports of entry and adding additional stress to our border and immigration system.  Similarly, the Administration has spent much of the past two years singularly fixated on the President’s wall – which would not address the current situation or humanitarian challenge – rather than working towards real solutions. 

“There is no legitimate reason for migrants to be held in horrid conditions or encamped under bridges. DHS has the means to process these individuals in an orderly and timely way.  The Administration has no credibility to demand Congress act when it has acted in bad faith on this issue since day one.  I will support resources to ensure those presenting themselves at our borders are treated humanely but will oppose any effort to change policy to allow Secretary Nielsen to deport children and families without offering them due process.  Democrats will not allow President Trump or his Administration to continue to further his anti-immigrant, xenophobic agenda.”

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Media contact: Adam Comis at (202) 225-9978