Hours after President Trump declared he would “100 percent” close America’s southern border if he can’t make a deal with Congress on border security and immigration, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told Fox News host Tucker Carlson that eliminating birthright citizenship is “on the table” as a way to stop the flow of undocumented immigrants and asylum-seeking migrants.
Nielsen, who recently requested additional resources from Congress as border officials aim to quadruple the number of deportations of asylum seekers, appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight Tuesday evening to discuss the influx of Central American migrants at the southern border, and Carlson immediately began grilling her about what the administration was doing to “fix this.”
At times, it even seemed as if the Fox News host might be gunning for Nielsen’s job as he bombarded her with his own proposed solutions to the border crisis.
What about punishing employers “who are setting the bait in this trap, who are encouraging illegal aliens to come into this country?” he asked. (Interestingly, the president’s own businesses allegedly employed numerous undocumented workers—until they were caught by the press.)
“That is part of the problem,” Nielsen said, adding that steps are already being taken to address just that issue. “We’re looking to do everything we can throughout the system to apply penalties where we can,” she said.
Carlson was not satisfied with that answer. “Well how bout this, why wouldn’t your agency write an executive order, present it to the president, have him sign it and do it tomorrow?”
Nielsen went on to argue that “there’s a debate in Congress” regarding the executive branch on implementing an order like that, prompting Carlson to blast Congress while advocating for more direct executive actions.
“It looks like Congress is not going to act because one party has a vested interest in changing the population and the other party is, in effect, controlled by people who want illegal immigration,” Carlson asserted. “So would there be a downside for the president to act unilaterally on that question or, for example, birthright citizenship? Would you be willing to draft an executive order eliminating birthright citizenship?”
The Homeland Security chief responded that Trump has been clear that it is “all on the table” and he’s serious about shutting down the border.
“Yes, everything is on the table,” she reiterated.
Carlson, after noting that “things seem less under control now” at the border than before Trump was elected, asked later in the interview if the administration would send the military to the border since “it’s really a crisis of that magnitude.”
Nielsen said they “are looking into that” and have sent a request to the Department of Defense, causing Carlson to ask who is in charge and if it would be possible for the commander-in-chief to move “troops to the border tomorrow.”
“He has full authority to defend our country,” Nielsen said of Trump. “That’s what he is moving to do. His statements about closing the border are a perfect example. We will take all action to do this. It’s on the table.”
One topic that did not get addressed in Carlson’s interview with Nielsen, however, was Tuesday’s scoop by the Daily Beast that DHS was disbanding its terror intelligence unit even though white supremacist terrorism is on the rise.