On Wednesday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen met with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and had some things to say about the family separation crisis. During that meeting, according to Representative Joaquin Castro from Texas, she defended herself and the Trump administration, telling the caucus members: “I am not a racist. Nobody believes families should be separated.”
That’s certainly an interesting choice of words from the noted defender of white supremacists and head of the agency that actually forcibly separated parents from their children.
As for whether the Trump administration will meet its court-ordered deadline of today to reunite all families separated earlier this year at the U.S.-Mexico border under its “zero tolerance” policy, the Guardian reports that she assured caucus members the process is “on track”—but the numbers that officials have released over the past few days reveal a far grimmer reality for hundreds of families.
As of Tuesday evening, administration officials stated that they had reunited more than 1,000 families, with plans to reunite 600 more by the end of Thursday. But as many have reported, up to 463 parents have either already been deported or have “voluntarily” left the U.S. while their children remain detained in the United States. In a further sign of the incompetence and cruelty that has undergirded this whole process, Justice Department attorneys on Tuesday, according to NPR, “were unable to offer any details about the circumstances under which they were removed, where they might reside and why their children may have been left behind.”
But don’t worry! Nielsen would like to assure us that she really cares about the families that her agency decided to rip apart. Oh, and remember the lead Department of Justice attorney representing the administration against the ACLU who cares more about dogs than migrant families? She probably isn’t a racist either.