POLITICS
07/24/2018 12:43 pm ET Updated Jul 24, 2018

Homeland Security Advisory Council Members Resign Over 'Repugnant' Family Separations

"This is child kidnapping, plain and simple," Eilzabeth Holtzman wrote.

Multiple members have resigned their positions on the Homeland Security Advisory Council over the separation of parents and their children along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The four former members ― Richard Danzig, Elizabeth Holtzman, David Marin and Matthew Olsen ― signed a resignation letter last week and gave it to Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen, the Washington Post reported. The letter blasts the Trump administration for its cruel treatment of families who have been separated at the border.

“Were we consulted, we would have observed that routinely taking children from migrant parents was morally repugnant, counter-productive and ill-considered,” the letter said. “We cannot tolerate association with the immigration policies of this administration, nor the illusion that we are consulted on these matters.”

According to the DHS website, the council was created “to provide the Secretary real-time, real-world, sensing and independent advice to support decision-making across the spectrum of homeland security operations.”

Danzig is the former secretary of the Navy in the Clinton administration; Holtzman is a former Democratic congresswoman; Olsen is a former director of the National Counterterrorism Center, and Martin is a former DHS deputy general counsel. 

In a separate letter to Nielsen, Holtzman said the policy of separating families is breaking the law.

Elizabeth Holtzman's resignation letter.
Elizabeth Holtzman
Elizabeth Holtzman's resignation letter.

“As an author of the Refugee Act of 1980, along with Senator Ted Kennedy, I believe the treatment of refugees by you and President Trump violates that law and our treaty obligations to refugees,” Holtzman said.

Although a federal judge ordered a suspension to the separations and called for families to be reunited, the agency has largely failed to do so.

Holtzman went a step further in her letter, accusing the administration of kidnapping children.

“The final straw has been the separation of children from their parents at the Southwest border,” she wrote. “This is child kidnapping, plain and simple.”

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