Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., slammed outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Tuesday, saying she “oversaw one of the largest-scale human rights violations in recent history.”
Ocasio-Cortez responded to a tweet regarding a New York Times’ op-ed titled “Cancel Kirstjen Nielsen.”
The opinion piece addressed a report from the paper that said Nielsen stayed in her position because “she was aware how awful life would/will be for her on the outside given her role in defending Donald Trump’s policies.”
“Her role in terrorizing children should make her a permanent pariah,” the piece stated.
“In stealing 1000s of children, deporting their parents, & refusing to provide info for reunification, Sec. Nielsen oversaw one of the largest-scale human rights violations in recent history,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “Awarding her a lucrative deal or prestigious post is to legitimize+celebrate that abuse.”
The freshman congresswoman was addressing the Trump administration’s practice of separating migrant children from their families at the southern border which was carried out by Nielsen.
Last summer, the administration separated more than 2,500 children from their families before international outrage forced Trump to halt the practice and a judge ordered them reunited. The government recently said in court filings that it would take up to two years to reunify all the children already separated from their families.
On Sunday, President Trump announced that Nielsen “will be leaving her position” after 16 months on the job. He announced that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Kevin McAleenan will replace Nielsen as acting secretary, tweeting: "I have confidence that Kevin will do a great job!"
The Associated Press contributed to this report.