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According to the New York Times, Nielsen handed in her resignation at the president’s request after a short meeting in which the president asked Nielsen to stop accepting asylum seekers and close ports of entry along the border, which Nielsen reportedly refused to do.
But despite allegedly refusing the president’s aggressive requests, Nielsen still oversaw the Trump administration’s practice of separating migrant children from their families. And Twitter won’t let her forget it, thanks to her own statements on the matter.
“We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period,” Nielsen tweeted in June 2018.
We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period.— Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen (@SecNielsen) June 17, 2018
Nielsen blamed the media, members of Congress and advocacy groups for reports of families separated at the border, repeatedly saying there was no official policy separating children from their families at the border.
However, the “zero tolerance” policy of apprehending and arresting adults arriving with children ensured that the families would be separated because children cannot be detained in adult facilities.
It was a tweet that perfectly represented the Trump administration’s tenuous relationship with the truth amidst a draconian change in immigration policy.
New York Times opinion writer Wajahat Ali said of the tweet on Sunday night, “I want this to follow her until the end. Goodbye DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. This is your legacy.”
I want this to follow her until the end. Goodbye DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. This is your legacy. https://t.co/SKG7qAkqZU— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) April 7, 2019
Girl, bye https://t.co/3U2YAAjPSI— SDM (@meddocle) April 8, 2019
This ratio https://t.co/s43cvPUBDU— BUMBLR, the dating app for Abominable Snowmen (@dogdadbod) April 7, 2019
[hums “the way we were”] https://t.co/hJtkSpCSoy— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) April 7, 2019
*Except for the 2,737 children ripped from their parents at the border by the Trump admin plus 1000s of other children potentially ripped from their parents before a federal court req'd the Trump admin to keep track.— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) April 7, 2019
Quite a legacy. https://t.co/DGVXvzHOuY https://t.co/UeGhpMlVpY
The Trump administration is now asking for two years to identify and reunite all the children who have been separated from their parents because of his administration’s immigration policy.
Ellen Ioanes is the FOIA reporter at the Daily Dot, where she covers U.S. politics. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School, and her work has appeared in the Guardian, the Center for Public Integrity, HuffPost India, and more.