Reprinted with permission from Alternet.
Outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen will be remembered for overseeing a grotesquely abusive and horrifying tenure for her department as she drove forward and defended President Donald Trump’s vicious anti-immigrant agenda. But according to a new report from the Daily Beast, she saw herself as one of the more moderate members of the president team.
She clashed most with Trump policy aide and speechwriter Stephen Miller, who once worked for former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, according to the report. While he thought she wasn’t tough enough on immigrants, she apparently saw him as a bigot.
They added that the pair clearly had a “mutual disgust” for one another.
Under Nielsen, the department has continued a harsh crackdown on immigrants. Most notoriously, it embraced the separation of immigrant families pushed by the Justice Department’s zero-tolerance policy. This has affected a still untold number of kids, inflicting brutal and enduring trauma and subjecting them to abominable conditions. It was a blatant abuse of human rights. And exacerbating the initial harm and wrongdoing, the administration, it has been revealed, has no plan for ever reuniting many of these families. Nielsen has aggressively defended these actions to the public and to Congress — even brashly saying that there was no policy of separating families, when the administration was completely aware that this was the effect and the point of the zero-tolerance push.
But multiple reports have now found that, as horrifying as Nielsen’s tenure at Homeland Security has been, she opposed Trump on other extreme measures. The New York Times reported that Trump told her to bar all immigrants including asylum-seekers from entering at the U.S.-Mexico border, but she refused because it would be against the law.
As some try to defend Nielsen’s outrageous time at Homeland Security and polish her image, it’s important to remember just how bad things have gotten. But it seems that without her, it could get even worse