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Anderson Cooper Just Set The Record Straight On The Trump Administration Keeping Migrant Children In Cages

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The policy of separating migrant children from their families at the border is one of the most sickening things that the Trump administration has ever implemented. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has tried repeatedly to squirm her way out of any guilt for it, but she has failed time and time again. Her latest attempt was shot down by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper on live TV in a brutal but necessary way. He reminded us all of some facts we must never forget.

You can read the key extract from the transcript here, and you can watch the full clip below:

When asked today, Kirstjen Nielsen, the Secretary of Homeland Security, said she does not know how many immigrant children are in custody after being apprehended along the southern border. So the head of the department responsible for detaining them, children, doesn’t know how many children she’s actually detaining. Now, obviously, Kirstjen Nielsen has a lot of responsibility. She had a huge agency. But let me ask you, if you were the point person in charge of kids in custody, some trying to be reunited with parents, some sick, kids of all ages, don’t you think that’s a number you would carry around in your head with you every single day?

Isn’t that a number you would check on pretty much every day to see how are those reunifications going? Children, some of whom the U.S. is responsible for separating from their parents as part of U.S. policy. She says she doesn’t know how many kids are still in custody. Now, that question came up at a scheduled hearing of the House Homeland Committee today. It was a scheduled hearing. And I point that out that it wasn’t a surprise question yelled by a reporter, wasn’t a sudden meeting she wasn’t prepared for, wasn’t a pop quiz. So it’s hard to imagine why Secretary Nielsen would not have that number at her fingertips.

A couple options, perhaps, she really doesn’t know the numbers, she doesn’t keep track of it, doesn’t keep her up at night, she just doesn’t know and didn’t think to ask anyone before this hearing, which she must have been prepared for. She didn’t think anybody would ask that question. The thing is, this is not the first time this has happened. “Keeping them Honest,” not knowing how many kids you’ve got locked up. It’s part of a pattern for Secretary Nielsen and the administration of not being forthcoming about their policies at the border.

She has almost from day one of the administration’s zero-tolerance policy on families trying to enter the country made statements downplaying the human impact, diminishing her responsibility, and twisting words to avoid accountability for the consequences of which she and the administration have done. And just to be clear, and we always try do this, we’re not debating policy. This is not a question of which policy is right for deterring illegal border crossing. That’s up to voters to decide. This is not — this is not dealing with the very real problems that are driving people to come here. This is just a question of being honest about the policy that’s in place and, frankly, taking responsibility for the outcome, whatever it may be, whether you agree with it or not.


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