National Council of Jewish Women
1707 L Street NW, Suite 950
Washington, DC 20036-4206
Contact: Amanda Lang
Director of Marketing and Communications
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
US Homeland Security Chief Must Resign
August 23, 2018, Washington, DC – The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today called on the Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielson, to resign in the wake of the disastrous and inhumane policy of separating children from their parents and then losing track of most of them. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman released the following statement:
“I returned today from a trip to the border, organized by HIAS and ADL, where I witnessed first-hand the gross mistreatment and devastating condition of families in detention. I left that trip feeling anger and sadness at our nation’s policies, but also with a resolve to redouble our efforts to enact sensible refugee policies. My Jewish ancestors came to this country to escape persecution and build a better life for their children and I feel an enormous responsibility to do the same for future generations.
“The policy toward immigrant children and families that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen implemented on behalf of the Trump Administration was cruel, counterproductive, and in violation of American and international human rights principles. It is made infinitely worse by the level of incompetence and callousness with which it is being implemented.
“Yes, Secretary Nielson was only ‘following orders.’ But she defended it by saying it was required by law, which it was not. She denied there was a policy of separation, when in fact such a policy had been adopted by Attorney General Jeff Sessions at least two months earlier. Under her watch, her department violated at least one federal law and a longstanding court settlement that set standards for how to handle detained children.
“If Homeland Security is to clean up this mess once and for all and install a new ethical standard for policy toward families seeking asylum, Secretary Nielsen needs to step aside so the department can change its attitude, its operations, and its commitment to the rule of law.”
The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW .