Hi there,

This month Democracy Now! is celebrating 28 years on the air. Since our very first broadcast in 1996, Democracy Now! has been committed to bringing you the stories, voices and perspectives you won't hear anywhere else. In these times of war, climate chaos and elections, our reporting has never been more important. Can you donate $10 to keep us going strong? Today a generous donor will DOUBLE your donation, making it twice as valuable. Democracy Now! doesn't accept advertising income, corporate underwriting or government funding. That means we rely on you to make our work possible—and every dollar counts. Please make your gift now. Thank you so much.
-Amy Goodman

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen Denies Migrants Are Held in Cages

HeadlineMar 07, 2019

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen defended President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the southern border Wednesday, telling lawmakers in a contentious hearing that officials are on track to detain more than 900,000 migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border this year. Nielsen pushed back against widespread reports that the Trump administration routinely denies migrants a chance to apply for asylum in the U.S., claiming no one would be turned away at a U.S. port of entry. The claim prompted Democrat Nanette Barragán of the House Homeland Security Committee to reply, “Either you’re lying to this committee, or you don’t know what’s happening at the border.” Asked how many children are detained at the border, Nielsen replied she didn’t have the number handy. And she denied that migrant detainees are being held in cages. This is New Jersey Congressmember Bonnie Watson Coleman questioning Nielsen.

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman: “What does a chain-link fence enclosed into a chamber on a concrete floor represent to you? Is that a cage?”

Kirstjen Nielsen: “It’s a detention space, ma’am, that you know has existed for decades.”

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman: “Does it differ from the cages you put your dogs in when you let them stay outside? Is it—is it different?”

Kirstjen Nielsen: “Yes.”

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman: “In what sense?”

Kirstjen Nielsen: “It’s larger. It has facilities. It provides room to sit, to stand, to lay down.”

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman: “So did my dog’s cage.”

Nielsen’s testimony came as U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported its agents arrested over 66,000 people crossing the southern border between legal ports of entry in February, the highest number for a single month in nearly 10 years.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation