DA Hispanic Caucus Statement on Department of Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen’s Resignation

Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus Steering Committee Statement in Response to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen’s Resignation

In response to Kirstjen Nielsen’s April 8th resignation announcement, the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus Steering Committee present the following statement:

There is no way to sugarcoat it – former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was a dreadful public servant who implemented brutal and inhumane policies.

Two years after the devastating hurricanes in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the catastrophically incompetent DHS is still struggling with how to respond to the more than 3,000 lives lost and billions of dollars worth of broken infrastructure. As U.S. citizens, Puerto Ricans and Virgin Islanders have every right to wonder when their federal government will address their critical needs. And while Nielsen may claim that under her leadership, DHS has “responded decisively to record-breaking natural disasters and helped Americans rebuild,” the facts tell a completely different story.

Furthermore, as the top Trump official in charge of the administration’s tragic and failed “large scale family separation” policy to control the fake “emergency” declaration of the border “crisis,” Kirstjen Nielsen is directly complicit in forcibly ripping children away from their refugee and asylum-seeker parents and put into camps. Nielsen’s unfortunate anti-immigrant legacy will be remembered long after the separated refugee families reunite, if DHS is able to reunite them at all. With the vacancy created by Nielsen, we also reject the appointment of Kevin McAleenan as Acting Secretary because of his own woeful record as Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner.

Regardless of whoever next oversees DHS, we continue to believe that the only sure remedy to halt this administration’s reckless actions and heinous activities is to vote out Donald Trump and all of his Republican allies in Congress, in addition to Congress continuing with strong oversight of the executive branch’s never-ending controversies.

As American citizens living in all parts of the globe, we in the Democrats Abroad Hispanic Caucus have witnessed first-hand the value of diplomacy, and investment in people and communities compared to the inhumane – and often illegal – Trump agenda. Instead of trying to justify anti-immigration policies as an “emergency,” the next DHS secretary would do well to listen to the unique perspective of Americans living in Mexico who truly understand the issues on both sides of the border.