Lawmakers: DHS chief asserts family reunifications on track

Homeland Security

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Homeland Security secretary has met with Hispanic members of Congress and they say she told them officials are on track to meet a court-imposed deadline for reuniting hundreds of migrant children with parents or guardians. That deadline is Thursday.

The lawmakers, all Democrats, say the remark by Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was met with disbelief and anger. They say she provided no figures to back up her assertion.

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Illinois Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez says he told Nielsen she is “committing crimes against humanity” and is a “child abuser.”

The closed-door meeting involving roughly 20 lawmakers lasted about an hour.

Nielsen told reporters the meeting was “very productive, very frank.”

The lawmakers say Nielsen said her agency is financing the costs of detaining families with a 1 percent across-the-board cut to its programs.