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Durbin calls for Kirstjen Nielsen to resign

Sen. Dick Durbin says President Donald Trump's family policy is "cruel" and says, "Someone in this administration has to accept responsibility." | Sun-Times file photo

A top Democratic senator says Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen should resign. Richard Durbin made the remark at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing where lawmakers from both parties criticized the Trump administration’s separation of migrant children from families.

Durbin says President Donald Trump’s family policy is “cruel” and says, “Someone in this administration has to accept responsibility.”

Committee Chairman Charles Grassley says Trump’s crackdown on people illegally crossing the border from Mexico was well-intentioned but has had unintended consequences. The Iowa Republican says the administration has “mishandled” family separations.

He also cited reports that immigrants have experienced sexual and other abuse at some detention facilities and said those held must be treated humanely.

Top federal immigration officials went before Congress Tuesday to defend their handling of President Donald Trump’s now-abandoned policy of separating migrant children from their families, saying they keep records of children in their custody.

They also said they can document decisions by hundreds of detained parents to willingly leave the U.S. without their children, an assertion that has drawn skepticism from lawmakers.