MSNBC's Jacob Soboroff says Nielsen will 'always be the face' of family separation policy


MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff said this week that the idea that former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen “should get some credit” for allegedly pushing back on Donald Trump and White House aide Stephen Miller’s desire to revive large-scale family separations at the southern border “is a joke.”

Some reporting has unnamed sources claiming that Nielsen was forced out of her job in a consolidation of power by Miller, a white supremacist, in part because she protested some of Trump’s requests. Perhaps they’re unnamed because it’s a laughable claim: Nielsen vocally defended state-sanctioned kidnapping, and even lied to Congress about it. But that wasn’t all, Soboroff told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes.

When Trump was forced to carry out an Oval Office photo-op purporting to mark an end to family separation, Nielsen was reportedly not pleased. He heard “time and time again after President Trump ended the separations—which I saw with my own eyes, down there at the McAllen Border Patrol processing station—that within her group, her team, Team Nielsen, they regretted that executive order being signed, because they felt that they were close to the underlying policy goal.”

Those goals have been to detain asylum seekers for longer if they can’t immediately deport them, no matter what kind of legitimate violence or persecution they were fleeing from in the first place. “Whatever happened behind closed doors,” Hayes said, “she, through her own volition, publicly, repeatedly, was one of the most vociferous advocates for some of the most notorious policies of this president on immigration.”

Policies that continue despite Nielsen’s departure and return to public life (where she should no doubt be shunned). “Sixty-five kids that we know of from the zero tolerance period are still in federal custody and haven’t been reunited,” Soboroff said. “That’s on top of the thousands more that HHS’s office of inspector general identified, saying were potentially separated.” The Trump administration has claimed it could take up to two years to identify and track them.

“Nielsen deserves zero credit for resigning over Trump's desire to reboot family separations,” Soboroff tweeted. “She'll always be the face of the policy.” Family separation remains a crisis.

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