Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said her agency will continue to enforce immigration laws, despite facing heavy opposition from congressional Democrats.
“Well, two things. One, I would say we’re a law enforcement agency. So we enforce the law,” Nielsen said Thursday on “Fox & Friends.” “You know, I said it before, but I really fear for our democracy when the body who creates the laws is telling the body who enforces the law, ‘Just don’t enforce the law.’ If they don’t like the law, they should change it. But the men and women at [the] Department of Homeland Security have sworn an oath to protect communities, to secure the homeland, and to enforce the law that Congress passed.”
“The second one is that there’s just a lot of misunderstanding,” she continued. “Many of the policies and the ways in which [Customs and Border Protection] has been protecting our community for decades are the same. They’re just suddenly now political and partisan. But these are the professionals who’ve done this for 20, 30 years, often times at risk to their own lives. This is what they say we need to do to protect the border.”
Nielsen blamed Congress, judges, and criminals for a rise in illegal border crossings and said immigration shouldn’t be viewed as a partisan issue.
“It’s interesting. If you boil it down, it’s Congress, courts, and criminals,” she said. “The criminals have found a way to take advantage of the situation. They’re trafficking, smuggling, they’re preying on the migrants. But they’re also selling them a bill of goods. We’ve had some unfortunate court decisions. They clearly did not understand either the authorities in some cases, but more importantly, the operational effects of the security concerns.”
“And then three, Congress continues to fail to act. This is not a partisan issue. It’s not partisan to want to protect communities. it’s not partisan to want to secure our border. It’s not partisan to want to secure our homeland. And yet, in this environment, Congress refuses to act.”
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