Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen defended President Donald Trump’s immigration policies at the White House press briefing on Monday, criticizing members of Congress for complaining about the laws instead of changing them.
“Congress and the courts created this problem and Congress alone can fix it,” she said after taking the podium at the White House to defend the administration’s enforcement of laws pertaining to children detained at the border.
Nielsen was brought in to address White House reporters on Monday, after traveling from New Orleans where she delivered a speech at the National Sheriffs Association.
“We have to do our job. We will not apologize for doing our job. We have sworn to do this job,” she said at the conference.
The White House press briefing scheduled for 1:15 p.m. was postponed several times on Monday afternoon as reporters grew restless for an administration response to the growing crisis.
After taking the podium, Nielsen squarely challenged Democrats for grandstanding on the issue and accusing the administration of using the children as leverage to get Congress to act.
“I say that is a cowardly response,” she said. “It is clearly within their power to make and change the laws. They should do so.”
She also challenged Democrats for attacking law enforcement officials for doing their job to enforce the laws on the books.
“We will enforce every law we have on the books to defend the sovereignty and security of the United States,” she said. “Those who criticize the enforcement of our laws have offered only one countermeasure. Open borders.”