Lawmakers doubtful DHS can meet deadline to reunify migrant families


WASHINGTON (News4Utah) – Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Neilsen met with lawmakers on capitol hill Wednesday. She assured them the government will meet a court-ordered deadline to reunify thousands of immigrant kids with their families.

Lawmakers are skeptical and dissatisfied with the information they got from the secretary.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, met privately with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Publicly, the two sides gave conflicting accounts of the meeting.

 “Very productive and very frank,” said Neilsen.

 “It is outrageous, she continues to operate with misinformation,” said Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, (D-NV).

Senator Cortez Masto said Nielsen could not answer basic questions about the migrant children who remain separated from their parents.

Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois said for some children, DHS has failed to keep even basic records.

“We’re told there are some 37 children they just can’t identify,” said Sen. Durbin (D-IL).

Secretary Nielsen would not answer questions about those unidentified children.

Senator Cortez Masto said she asked Nielsen what happened to 463 other children whose parents have been deported without them, the answer she got was that those parents chose to leave without their kids.

“I know these parents had no counsel, had a barrier with the language, had no idea what they were signing,” said Sen. Cortez Masto.

Secretary Nielsen promised that the government will be able to meet Thursday’s court-ordered deadline to reunite all the remaining kids.  Lawmakers don’t believe it.

 “It’s inconceivable they’ll be able to reunify the remaining children,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro.

 “It is a disgraceful chapter in American history,” said Sen. Durbin.

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Glen Mills

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 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...