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"I am today calling on the architect of this humanitarian disaster, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen, to step down," declared Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) on Tuesday. (Photo: C-SPAN/Screenshot)

Sen. Durbin Tells 'Architect of This Humanitarian Disaster' Kirstjen Nielsen: Resign

"I am today calling on the architect of this humanitarian disaster... to step down."

Jon Queally

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Il.) on Tuesday called on Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to "step down" for her direct role in Trump administration's cruel and ongoing policy of separating immigration families and detaining children away from their parents and loved ones.

"Incredibly," Durbin declared at the opening of a Senate committee hearing on the crisis created by the president and executed by her department, "Nielsen claimed, 'We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period.'  But it was on her watch and under her leadership that nearly 2,700 children were separated from their parents, and more than 700 children still have not been reunited with their families – including more than 400 whose parents were apparently deported and more than 90 whose parents can't be located at all."

Calling the detention of children and the breaking up of families as a violation of nation's "bedrock values," Durbin announced his belief that someone in the administration—if not the president—would have to be held responsible for the situation.

"What will become of these children and their parents, who border agents called, 'deleted family units'?  In the name of these 'deleted family units,' 711 'lost children,' and common decency," he added, "I am today calling on the architect of this humanitarian disaster, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen, to step down."

Watch Durbin's remarks in full:

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