As human rights groups, Democratic lawmakers, and the United Nations demanded an independent probe into the deaths of two Guatemalan children in US Border Patrol custody, President Donald Trump’s Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen sparked outrage on Wednesday by declaring that “open borders” advocates and the kids’ “own parents” — not Trump’s inhumane treatment of immigrants — are to blame.
“Our system has been pushed to a breaking point by those who seek open borders,” Nielsen said in a statement just hours after eight-year-old Felipe Alonzo-Gomez died in US custody on Christmas day. “Smugglers, traffickers, and their own parents put these minors at risk by embarking on the dangerous and arduous journey north.”
Nielsen, who signed off on the Trump administration’s internationally condemned family separation policy, was immediately denounced for attempting to deflect attention and blame away from the White House’s anti-immigrant agenda.
Children in the custody of the Trump administration are dying, and the best the secretary of Homeland Security can do is blame those who seek open borders” and “parents.”
These people are beyond repulsive. Never forget that. https://t.co/Wwy2DWhRBi
— Pejman Yousefzadeh پژمان یوسف زاده (@Yousefzadeh) December 27, 2018
Sec. Nielsen’s statement on the death of an 8 year old migrant child in @CBP custody is really remarkable. She acknowledges that Jakelin Caal was the first death of a minor in CBP care in a decade, and then blames opponents of Trump policies for humanitarian crisis at the border
— john r stanton (@dcbigjohn) December 26, 2018
In a statement on Wednesday, National Nurses United (NNU) pinned the deaths of the two young children on Trump’s treatment of asylum-seekers fleeing violence and persecution as “criminals.”
“Nurses, whose life work is to protect and heal, are appalled at the lack of…