The House Committee on Homeland Security on Friday requested an appearance from Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to discuss border security issues, including President Trump’s long-promised border wall and the care of illegal immigrant children in U.S. custody who crossed into the country.
To start the letter, committee chairman Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss., condemned the president’s plan for a border wall, funding for which has been a sticking point in negotiations between Democrats and Republicans to end the government’s ongoing partial shutdown.
“Your border security presentation submitted to Congress today is yet another example of the misinformation and outright lies the Trump Administration has used to make the case for the President’s boondoggle border wall, defend the government shutdown, and distract the American people from a border policy so flawed that children have died in Department of Homeland Security custody,” Thompson wrote.
Last month, two children – both from Guatemala – died while in U.S. custody, according to immigration officials.
“Squandering American taxpayer money on a wall may satisfy a segment of the President’s political supporters, but it will not solve the real border security challenges facing our Nation,” Thompson continued.
Aside from the border wall, topics at the hearing – the first for the committee during the new Congress – will include “metering of individuals” who reach U.S. border points of entry looking for asylum and the care of children in the custody of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the letter said.
The committee also requested documents pertaining to border wall construction and “the interdiction of families” by Jan. 18.
Thompson wrote that Nielsen had previously come before the committee one time and “another appearance is overdue.”
In a statement to Fox News, Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman Katie Waldman said, “The Secretary testified before a House Committee two weeks ago on this topic where she answered dozens of questions from members. She has been meeting with House and Senate leadership where she has repeatedly sought to provide them with vital information pertaining to the humanitarian crisis on the border. We look forward to receiving the reported request and will review it.”
Fox News’ Chad Pergram and Greg Norman contributed to this report.