Politics

Kirstjen Nielsen Says Retaining Would-Be Refugees In Mexico Will Cut Illegal Immigration

Fox News

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen lauded the new Migrant Protection Plan Thursday night, saying it will lower illegal immigration into the United States.

The policy will keep would-be refugees, mainly from the migrant caravan, in Mexico while their asylum pleas are assessed. The deal was first reported last month as the “Remain in Mexico” plan but then quickly denied by the incoming Mexican administration.

Nielsen told Fox News that the deal satisfies a number of issues.

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“One, it will reduce illegal immigration; two, it will help us focus on those who have a legitimate claim; and three, it will reduce those who don’t,” Nielsen explained. (RELATED: DHS Migrant Caravan On Border Contains More Than 500 Criminals)

The DHS secretary described the plan as “a unilateral action under our statutory authority,” but says the Mexicans are addressing any concerns about their non-compliance by offering the migrants shelter, education, medical care, asylum and work permits, “in some cases very specific jobs.”

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen speaks with Shannon Bream on “Fox News@Night,” Dec.20, 2018. Fox News screenshot.

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen speaks with Shannon Bream on “Fox News@Night,” Dec.20, 2018. Fox News screenshot.

When asked if the policy was part of a “tougher” stance from DHS in response to criticism from President Donald Trump, Nielsen responded that these latest developments were started a while ago and that people need to understand that ‘[the president] will protect Americans, he will secure the border.” (RELATED: White House Condemns ‘Activism’ Of Judge Who Wants Deportees Back In The US)

She also responded to comments that Trump was backing away from his promise of a “big, beautiful” concrete wall for something less secure, saying, “Walls work … what we need in one location is not the same as we need in another. We have to get the wall done.”

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