BigNews.Biz - Mar 10,2017 - Sen Harris Presses DHS Deputy Sec Nominee Duke on Immigration Enforcement and Priorities
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Kamala D. Harris, a member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, participated in a hearing on the nomination of Elaine Duke to serve as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Senator Harris questioned Duke on DHS’ enforcement priorities, following concerns Harris has heard from constituents about DHS’ immigration enforcement operations. At the hearing, Harris reproduced the list of seven categories that DHS Secretary Kelly outlined to his agencies that could lead to enforcement actions, including deportation.
Brief exchange below:
HARRIS: You have said many times including at least three times in this hearing that you have limited resources, we all do, and so we have to make priorities and triage in many situations. So will you tell me please of these seven categories, which you believe to be the most important with your limited resources?
DUKE: The most important is the people that have been criminal, it’s subcategory one.
HARRIS: Ok, and where do you put in this hierarchy the third one, those who have committed acts which constitute but obviously there has been no legal action, where would you put that in your list of priorities?
DUKE: I believe these are, if you will, loosely in descending order. I think the main effect of that memorandum is to not exempt any categories that currently are under the current law passed by congress.
HARRIS: So it is your opinion that these are listed in descending order of priority?
Recent reports have highlighted how Immigration and Customs Enforcements (ICE) agents have misled local law enforcement about immigration arrests, and feel emboldened by this administration to conduct mass deportations.
Senator Harris also urged Duke to have DHS Secretary Kelly reconsider their proposal of separating women from undocumented children at the border.
Harris said, “I would urge you to urge the Secretary to think of this from the context, to the Chairman’s point, to the details of what this would look like on the ground. For example, if a family appears at the border, and of those children with that family are nursing babies, what will the policy be as it relates to that nursing baby and that mom? If a family arrives at the border and among those children are toddlers who are potty-training, what will the policy of the department be as it relates to the separation of those children from those parents? What will the policy of the department be if they arrive at the border and a child is sick and needs comfort to be able to sleep through the night from his mother? What will the department’s policy be? Because those are very real scenarios.”
A full transcript of Harris’ remarks is below:
Round 1 Questioning:
KDH: Thank you, Mr. Chairman, on the topic of immigration I request unanimous consent following that two items be entered into the record, one is a