Menendez on DHS IG Investigation into Trump’s Inhumane Family Separation Policy

Menendez on DHS IG Investigation into Trump’s Inhumane Family Separation Policy

“This IG report makes clear that Administration officials knowingly lied to the American people.”

   

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee and the Highest Ranking Latino in Congress, released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Inspector General issued its report on the Trump Administration’s zero-tolerance policy. The report, which Sen. Menendez and other Senate colleagues requested in March, found that “DHS was not fully prepared to implement the Administration’s Zero Tolerance Policy or to deal with some of its after-effects,” and “DHS struggled to identify, track, and reunify families separated under Zero Tolerance due to limitations with its information technology systems, included a lack of integration between systems.”

“Today’s report confirms what we already believed:  President Trump and his Administration—under Secretary Nielsen’s supervision—worked diligently to create the humanitarian crisis that resulted from its Zero Tolerance Policy, and at the expense of women and children seeking asylum to save their lives.

“This IG report makes clear that Administration officials knowingly lied to the American people:  First, when they initially claimed the family separation policy did not exist; next, when they professed to have a central database containing information of separated parents and children that could be accessed; and finally, when they asserted that CBP was not slow-walking or blocking the processing of asylum-seekers at ports of entry. Above all, it underscores the fact that the Trump Administration simply did not care enough to plan how to reunite broken families, focusing only on how to separate them.

“Adding insult to injury, the Administration’s response is to try and implement an indefinite family detention policy. As I said before, this is morally wrong, harmful to children and parents alike and inconsistent with our most fundamental American values. This report confirms that Trump’s family separation policy will be a dark stain on our history and the traumatic impact will haunt families for decades.  We cannot stay silent as the Trump Administration, abuses immigrant families to push for a blatantly racist agenda. We are better than this.”

Last month, Sen. Menendez and other Senate colleagues implored DHS Secretary Nielsen to reverse course on several anti-immigrant policies implemented by her agency, including by immediately reunifying all children separated at the border by the inhumane zero-tolerance policy.