"They're not cages. They are areas of the border facility that are carved out for the safety and protection of those who remain there while they're being processed," said Homeland Secretary Kirstjen Neilsen.
March 7, 2019

"Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen faced a grilling by lawmakers yesterday," Willie Geist said on Morning Joe.

"Nielsen appeared before the Homeland Security committee and members of Congress did not hold back when it comes to Donald Trump's administration's policies, including the use of cages to hold detained migrant children."

She is indeed a very good German.

"Are we still using cages for children?"

"Sir, we don't use cages for children. In the border facilities that you've been to, they were not made to detain children. As the children are processed through, they are in subparts of those facilities."

"Madam Secretary --"

""'m being as clear -- respectfully I'm answering your question."

"Yes or no, are we still putting children in cages?"

"To my knowledge CDP did not put a child in a cage like this."

"Purposely or whatever, are we putting children in cages as of today?"

"Children are processed at the border facility stations that you've been at, some of --"

"And I've seen the cages. I just want you to admit that the cages exist."

"Sir, they're not cages."

"What are they?"

"Areas of the border facility that are carved out for the safety and protection of those who remain there while they're being processed --"

And this:

"So what did you do -- I understand it's complicated. We have a big bureaucratic system, when you saw those pictures of babies in cages, what did you do? What did you do to just scream bloody murder up the chain to the president to say, I cannot represent an agency that is forcing its border patrol to do this? What did you do?"

"So I went to the border, I spoke to the men and women there, I looked at the facilities myself. I talked to HHS to understand and visited their facilities as well to understand the care that they provide to the children once they're in their custody and then I spent a tremendous amount of time working with the northern triangle in Mexico to stop the phenomenon closer to the source, to help stabilize those areas so that the children and families are not traveling here."

And this:

"When you began family separation in spring 2018 were you aware of research showing it causes trauma that can do both immediate and long-term damage to children's health?"

"The information that I was aware of at the time was that the trauma is part of the journey to come up to the border illegally."

"Are you aware that the traumatic effects don't go away even if a child is reunited with their family?"

"I understand that they are -- no."

"The American Psychological Association reports that family separation is on par with beating and torture in terms of its relationship to mental health. Were you aware of that research prior to instituting the policy of family separation?"

"There is no policy of family separation."

And so on.


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