'Zero Tolerance' Policy Shows Nielsen, Sessions Should Resign, Say Dem Lawmakers
WASHINGTON – Some Democratic lawmakers have been calling on Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign over enforcement of the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy under which every illegal entrant is prosecuted, action that has led to parents being separated from their children after attempting to cross the border.
“When I look at the totality of these circumstances the answer is an absolute yes, an absolute yes. Maybe they are not suitable for work that requires empathy and sympathy and the heart of the children; they just might not be suitable for this, and if you are not suitable then you ought to remove yourself,” Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) told PJM during an interview on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said Trump should fire Sessions and Nielsen or they should resign.
“We should see them resign. I would call on them to resign. I would call on the president to fire them; of course, the president right now is part of the problem,” she told PJM.
When asked if he is calling for Nielsen and Sessions to resign, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) said Trump has been dying to fire Sessions and “I don’t know why he hired him in the first place, but then, of course, that’s Donald Trump who hired him, so we kind of know why.”
“The secretary of Homeland Security has lost all morals when it comes to protecting children and enforcing our immigration laws; it is clear the POTUS has whipped her into shape, so she is marred,” he said, not directly saying if either cabinet official should resign.
Gutierrez argued that the Trump administration is ramping up deportations and being “mean and nasty” to illegal immigrants to get “their voters out” in November and to “retain their dirty filthy power” so they can “go to their voters and say, ‘See how mean and nasty we are?’”
On Monday, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) declared in a statement that Nielsen should step down because “the government should be in the business of keeping families together, not tearing them apart.”
“And the government should have a commitment to transparency and accountability,” she said. “Under Secretary Nielsen’s tenure, the Department of Homeland Security has a track record of neither. As a result, she must resign.”
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) echoed that call to CNN on Wednesday after Trump paused family separations.
“And with today's executive order that reverses this policy, we know that it was all lies. That's why Secretary Nielsen needs to resign. Her credibility has been shredded. I and many other members of Congress no longer have faith in her,” he said.
Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.) declined to say whether or not Sessions and/or Nielsen should resign over the controversy.