Trump administration officials say the policy is meant to deter undocumented immigrants from making the trek to the U.S. border with their children.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of NY called Nielsen a "stone cold liar". "Period", Rep. Katherine Clark, also responding to Nielsen, echoed Monday morning. Eric Swalwell responded, "She knows we can check this, right?"
The Obama- era policy shielded young immigrants from deportation if they were brought to the country as minors.
Lee and Jeffries joined Sens.
Senator Merkley, who drew national attention to the separation policy two weeks ago when officials blocked him from entering the Walmart-turned-detention-center in Brownsville, made a return visit to the facility on Sunday.
"This is about a bad policy folks have created".
"If you cross the border unlawfully. we will prosecute you", Sessions said at the time. According to this policy, the Department of Homeland Security will refer "100 percent of illegal Southwest Border crossings to the Department of Justice for prosecution".
Compounding Nielsen's false statement were reports that children separated at the border were being held in an old warehouse in south Texas, behind metal fencing that resembled cages. "Congress is the one that needs to fix this".
But the measure has been harshly denounced by activists, religious leaders, elected Democrats and Republicans alike. Former first lady Laura Bush said that as a resident of a border state, she appreciates the need to protect the nation's boundaries.
"I live in a border state".
"I appreciate the need to enforce and protect our worldwide boundaries, but this zero-tolerance policy is cruel", she said.
On Twitter, Trump addressed what he specifically wants in new legislation including "full funding for the Wall;" an end to a diversity visa lottery and certain categories of family-based migration; and a shift toward "merit based immigration" for skilled workers. "Go for it! WIN!"
But controversy over DHS treatment of families continues to heat up. However, one person took it a step further.
"I hate the children being taken away", he said Friday. "That is traumatizing to the children, who are innocent victims".