WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, at the long-awaited House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Trump administration’s horrific child separation policy, administration witnesses failed to answer basic questions about the policy, its formulation, and its implementation.
“The administration is either unwilling or unable to answer the most basic questions about this reckless policy, including the number of children under their care at various points during this colossal failure of a policy,” said Karl Frisch, a spokesperson for Restore Public Trust (RPT). “It’s long past time for the administration to answer to the American people.”
In one heated exchange, Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) tried in vain to get answers to basic questions on the number of families that have been separated by this Administration and the current status of those individuals:
Cicilline: Do you know how many children have been separated from their children [sic], period, since you have been in charge of this policy?
ICE Enforcement and Removals head Natalie Asher: As in – my agency is responsible for the adults through this process. You’re asking about the exact number for the children. I’m merely telling you that right off the top of my head, I can’t tell you the exact number.
While the Judiciary Committee’s hearing was unraveling, the House Oversight Committee voted to subpoena several Cabinet-level officials over the policy, specifically, Attorney General William Barr, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.
Frisch continued, “Enough is enough: if Trump’s underlings can’t answer the public’s questions, the senior administration officials whose agencies planned and implemented the policy must be compelled to answer. Now. It is refreshing to see Congress finally using its power to push the administration to come clean. The House Oversight Committee should be applauded for issuing subpoenas to compel those in power to testify.”
Earlier today, RPT launched a new campaign to hold accountable the agencies, companies, and individuals who are responsible for developing, implementing, and/or defending the policy. RPT will also drive accountability campaigns against lawmakers in their home states and target corporations who are benefiting from the policy. They will also encourage companies to avoid hiring or working with any Trump Administration officials who were involved in developing, implementing, or defending the family separation policy.
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