The Missouri Miner

Missouri S&T's Student Newspaper
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EST. 1915

Nielson Faces Backlash

Mary Rommer


Even as the US Senate sat ready to oppose President Trump’s declaration of a National Emergency at the southern border, Wednesday March 6th brought fresh rigor to the issue as Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen gave her attestation to the Democrat controlled House Committee on Homeland Security. In this testament Secretary Nielsen provided evidence to back the necessity of President Trump’s declaration of a National Emergency at the border between the United States and Mexico. Secretary Nielsen stated that “In February, we saw a 30 percent jump over the previous month, with agents apprehending or encountering nearly 75,000 aliens. This is an 80 percent increase over the same time last year”. Furthermore, it is projected that as spring provides weather conditions conducive to travel more aliens will arrive, putting the U.S. on track to receive over one million illegal aliens at the southern border in 2019.


These magnitudes were insufficient to alter the opinion of the House Committee of Homeland Security who were intent to focus on the psychological effects of familial separation and refused to provide attention to the statistics presented by Secretary Nielsen. These simply were not the numbers which interested the House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday as they turned the border issue away from one of national security and into a human rights debate. Instead of analyzing the overwhelm this massive influx of aliens would put on the U.S. Secretary Nielsen was interrogated over the separation of the more than 2,700 children from their families in 2018 and methods of separation which supposedly involved placing children in metal cages, a measure which the committee insisted was the product of President Trump’s “Zero Tolerance” border policy. As Secretary Nielsen argued, the “Zero Tolerance” policy allows the United States to criminally prosecute aliens entering the United States illegally which acts to separate immigrant child and parent as would criminal prosecution of parent who is a U.S. citizen. When Senator Nielsen stood firm in her insistence that the situation at the border was being handled in a humane albeit strictly controlled manner she faced severe out lash from the democratic party who accused her of lying, lack of awareness, and lack of empathy. Secretary Nielsen also faced interrogation over communication with President Trump in regard to National Emergency as a means of sending additional funding to the border that could be put towards building the border wall he ran his 2016 presidential campaign platform on.


Overall, the priority of the Democrat led House Committee on Homeland security has been to investigate separation of family units at the border. No compromise has been reached when it comes to negotiations with the Republican party on subjects of border security and increasing legal immigration through a system based on merit intended to add to the diversity of the United States in an economically conscious manner, safe to legal United States citizens. The Senate is likely to place their votes on whether or not to declare a National Emergency on the southern border at some point this week.


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