Senator Rosen Places Holds on Two Executive Branch Nominees Until the Administration Ends Inhumane and Cruel Treatment of Children in Custody

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), announced that she is placing holds on two Department of Homeland Security (DHS) nominees, Chad F. Wolf  and Troy D. Edgar, until the inhumane, substandard conditions for children improve at DHS processing and detention facilities. The Senator will maintain the holds until a non-governmental third party certifies that DHS has complied by ending the systematic mistreatment of children at U.S. government processing and detention centers. Wolf is the Administration’s nominee to be DHS Under Secretary for Strategy, Policy, and Plans. Earlier this year, Rosen questioned Wolf over his involvement in the Administration’s cruel immigration policies as Chief of Staff to former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. Edgar is the Administration’s nominee to be DHS Chief Financial Officer. Rosen opposed his nomination in committee earlier this month.

“What is happening on our Southern border is horrifying and goes against our core American values. Seeing babies and toddlers separated from their families and being detained in U.S. government facilities in horrendous conditions is simply unacceptable,” said Senator Rosen. “I am placing a hold on Department of Homeland Security nominees Chad F. Wolf and Troy D. Edgar until the inhumane and substandard conditions for children at DHS processing and detention facilities improve significantly. I will maintain these holds until a nongovernmental third party certifies that DHS has complied. I will use all tools available to hold this Administration accountable for their treatment of vulnerable children and families.” 

BACKGROUND: This past week, Senator Rosen joined her colleagues in sending a letter to Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) requesting a hearing on the health and safety conditions of migrant children arriving at the southern border. Earlier this month, Rosen led 17 of her colleagues in sending a letter to DHS Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan, raising concerns about a recent Office of Inspector General report detailing severe and dangerous overcrowding of migrants at El Paso Del Norte Processing Center during unannounced inspections conducted on May 8 and 9, 2019.

During a recent Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing, Rosen questioned DHS Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan on deceptive statements made by DHS officials to Senator Rosen and Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24) during their 2018 visit to the US-Mexico Border. Rosen called out blatant discrepancies between DHS’s public statements and its representations about the Department’s ability to reunite separated children with their families, and internal agency emails that revealed the agency knew it lacked the information needed to reunite parents and relatives with their children. Rosen also asked McAleenan to commit to telling the truth regarding the Administration’s immigration policies going forward.

Senator Rosen is a co-sponsor of the Safe Environment from Countries Under Repression and in Emergency (SECURE) Act, which would allow qualified Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) recipients to apply for legal permanent residency. Rosen is also a co-sponsor of the Keep Families Together Act, which would ensure that the federal government carries out immigration procedures in the best interest of detained children.