Kirstjen Nielsen Can’t Say How Many People Have Died in DHS Custody

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen faced questioning from Congress today about immigration policies enacted under the Trump administration.

Following a report this week that a 7-year-old migrant girl died shortly after coming onto the custody of the Customs and Border patrol, House members wanted details on if this has happened before.

Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline grilled the secretary about just how many deaths there have been.

“As you sit here today, you do not know how many human beings have died while in the in the custody of the department that you lead and in preparation for today’s hearing you didn’t ascertain that number and you don’t know it today?” Cicilline questioned.

“I don’t have an exact figure for you,” Nielsen responded.

Cicilline pressed on, asking if the secretary had at least a “rough idea” on the number.

“I’m talking about people who have died in your custody!” Cicilline demanded. “You don’t have the number?”

Nielsen simply replied that she would get back with the exact figure.

Watch the video below:

Other Congress members were frustrated with Nielsen’s lack of knowledge on the issue at the hearing. Rep. Hank Johnson also asked Nielsen for the figure on the number of deaths within her department; Nielsen responded the same way she did to Cicilline.

The Southern Poverty Law Center tweeted out their dismay. “That number should be 0.”

Nielsen was further questioned about the zero-tolerance family separation policy that resulted in the separation of about 2,600 migrant children from their parents, according to NBC News.

“Shame on everybody that separates children and allows them to stay at the other side of the border fearing death, fearing hunger, fearing sickness,” said. Rep. Luis Gutierrez during the hearing.  “Shame on us for wearing our badge of Christianity during Christmas for allowing the secretary to come here and lie.”


  1. Absolutely Ms, Nielson should have been better prepared. On the other hand these Senators sit up there like they think they are God, interigating people. It just makes me have less and less respect for them. They need to get the plank out of their own eye before they try to get the splinter out of someone elses. They remind me of pompus asss.

  2. How many people died while in the custody of Obummer’s DHS care. And all you demoncraps and MSM let us not forget all those photos that you showed claiming they were separated children of illegal aliens that President Trump’s border policy has caused were from 2014, that was under Obummer.

  3. Grandstanding demagogues.

    It’s not how many have died but HOW they died. The 7-yr old was in custody for under two hours and received immediate medical attention.

    She hadn’t received food or water for days. That’s ENTIRELY on her father, who dragged her along, then failed to provide the simplest of parental care.

    My cynical, misanthropic side wonders if he didn’t bring her along as either a prop to petition for asylum OR, worse, a bargaining chip with coyotes or traffickers.

    1. Totally agree. I also wonder why her mother did not also come on the caravan but chose to stay in Guatemala.

      1. Not bringing Mom or any other kids undercuts any arguments he might make for asylum. But we’re not talking about someone who’s either smart or functional.

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