December 05, 2017

Harris Statement on Vote Against Nielsen as DHS Secretary

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Kamala D. Harris, a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, released the following statement today on her vote against the nomination of Kirstjen Nielsen to be Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security:

“The mission of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is to secure our nation from threats while also safeguarding our deepest values. Unfortunately, this Administration has undermined that mission and put politics ahead of the safety of the American people.

“I am especially troubled by this Administration’s continued assault on immigrant communities and the President’s decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has allowed so many young people who were brought to this country as children to contribute to the country they love and are a part of in every way except on paper. It is past time that we resolve this issue—not months from now, but right now. In both houses of Congress, there is bipartisan support to fix DACA and give our Dreamers the stability they deserve. The only partisan thing to do, is nothing. Ms. Nielsen committed to me that she would work with me to find a solution to protect these young people and that living month to month was no way to live – I intend to hold her to that.

“It is with these concerns in mind that I met with Kirstjen Nielsen and reviewed her testimony and record. And while I appreciate the commitments she made, I remain unconvinced that Nielsen will serve as an effective guardian and independent of our homeland security. She has equivocated on protecting Dreamers and overlooked reports of DHS’ management failures. She has yet to acknowledge the overwhelming scientific consensus that human behavior contributes to climate change, even as states like California face the increasing threats of wildfires, floods, and rising sea levels. And as a top official in the Trump White House and at DHS, Nielsen has not demonstrated the independent judgment necessary to lead one of our nation’s most critical law enforcement and national security agencies. For these reasons, I voted against her confirmation today.

“As a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, I will continue to fight to ensure the safety and security of everyone who calls this country home. The American people deserve it.”