Tags: mcaleenan | trump | border | families | immigration

Acting DHS Head McAleenan: Separating Families At Border 'Not On The Table'

Acting DHS Head McAleenan: Separating Families At Border 'Not On The Table'
Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan. (John Moore/Getty)

By    |   Tuesday, 23 April 2019 03:34 PM

Acting Homeland Security chief Kevin McAleenan on Tuesday said separating migrant families at the border is "not on the table” — and that the policy was "not worth it" from an enforcement standpoint.

In an interview with NBC News' Lester Holt, McAleenan insisted, "We're not pursuing that approach,’” adding that the kids separated from their families, “they were always intended to be reunited.”

"Really a better system, as I've said many times, would allow us to detain families together during fair and expeditious immigration proceedings and getting actual immigration results from courts, so that’s what’s missing from the current situation," he told Holt.

"I think the president has been clear that family separation is not on the table and again this was a zero tolerance prosecution initiative that was targeted at adults violating the law," he said.

McAleenan's predecessor, Kirstjen Nielsen, was reportedly forced out of the job earlier this month in part because she'd refused to reinstate the policy of separating children from their families at the border.

But he was evasive when asked whether the policy had ever been effective.

“Prosecuting violations of the law does have a consequence and it does deter behavior but it did not work if you lose the public trust," he said, adding that from "an enforcement perspective, it’s not worth it."

In a separate interview Tuesday on Fox News’ “The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino,” McAleenan also praised progress on President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall across the southern border — despite Congress’ reluctance to fund the construction to the level the president demands.

“It's already being built, in less than two years,” he said. “That shows how aggressively we are moving out on this. With the expanded … Army Corps of Engineers, and building the wall… Border Patrol agents on the ground that they needed, we will show a lot of progress this year.”

McAleenan also weighed in on an issue before the Supreme Court: whether the government can ask a citizenship question on the census.

They made it clear, it's going to be up to the Supreme Court to decide whether we can move forward on that,” he said.

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Acting Homeland Security chief Kevin McAleenan on Tuesday said separating migrant families at the border is "not on the table" - and that the policy was "not worth it" from an enforcement standpoint.
mcaleenan, trump, border, families, immigration
361
2019-34-23
Tuesday, 23 April 2019 03:34 PM
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