Obama DHS chief: Expanding family detention, separation ‘was necessary’

by WorldTribune Staff, June 25, 2018

Expanding family detention and separating families was “necessary” in 2014 and still is today, Obama administration Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson said.

Former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson

In a June 24 interview on Fox News Sunday, Johnson was shown pictures of detained children from 2014 and asked by host Chris Wallace that “in some cases you separated children from their parents … did you handle it so well?”

Johnson responded: “Without a doubt the images, and the reality, from 2014, just like 2018, are not pretty. And so we expanded family detention. We had then 34,000 beds for family detention. Only 95 of 34,000 equipped to deal with families. And so we expanded it. I freely admit it was controversial. We believed it was necessary at the time. I still believe it is necessary to remain a certain capability for families.”

Johnson added that “We can’t have catch and release. And in my 3 years we deported or repatriated or returned over a million people.”

“We did not want to go so far as to separate families, but unless we deal with the underlying causes that are motivating people in the first place we are going to continue to bang our heads against the wall on this issue,” Johnson said.

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