Win McNamee/Getty Images
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) voted 11-4 to approve President Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen Tuesday, passing the avowedly pro-amnesty candidate on to a vote of the full Senate.
Voting in Neilsen’s favor were all eight Republicans on the panel, including “Gang of Eight” amnesty plot ringleader Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and “conservative Dream Act” amnesty proponent Sen. James Lankford. Joining them were red state Democrats Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), John Tester (D-MT), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND). The only four opposing votes were from liberal Democrats like Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI).
Neilsen, whom bestselling conservative author and columnist Ann Coulter called, “an open borders zealot,” is now only one successful vote away from overseeing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
As Breitbart News has reported throughout her confirmation process, Nielsen has a well-documented history of supporting amnesty, going so far as to tell HSGAC that America “owes” amnesty to the hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens covered by President Barack Obama’s likely-unconstitutional Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, in her first confirmation hearing. Long-time immigration hawk Rep. Steve King (R-IA) tweeted that the remark “disqualified” Nielsen from leading DHS.
Nielsen’s history of opposing populist-nationalist immigration policy in favor of open borders globalism extends beyond America’s borders. Last year, she led a committee of the World Economic Forum, a pro-business interest group made up largely of multinational corporations in Davos, Switzerland. Her committee’s report, called “Global Agenda Council on Risk & Resilience,” recommended that Europe must accept the massive influx of third world migrants flooding the continent. “Change the narrative on refugees’ impact in host countries: Active steps should be taken to reframe the discourse on refugees from one of risk to one that also recognizes the substantial social and economic contribution they can make to their host societies,” the report urged.
Immigration restictionist groups were largely outraged by President Trump’s selection of Nielsen. By contrast, support for Nielsen’s nomination was high among the so-called “Never Trumpers” of the GOP’s legacy national security ranks. On learning Nielson would be prepped for her hearings by Bush-era official Thad Bingel, NumbersUSA’s Rosemary Jenks told Breitbart News, “We elected Trump. We did not elect a Bush. We specifically rejected the Bush dynasty. We don’t need a Bush Republican at DHS.”
Nielsen herself was a Bush administration staffer. She came to President Trump’s attention through White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. She now serves as his deputy and, before that, was his chief of staff at DHS.
One of the four no votes was from Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-ME,) who released a statement on her vote indicating she and the other dissenters’ concerns with Neilsen were that, by virtue of her association with Kelly, she may not be pro-amnesty enough. “White House Chief of Staff John Kelly — who is Ms. Nielsen’s mentor and current immediate superior — was putting ‘massive pressure’ on Acting Secretary Duke to reverse an immigration decision that the Acting Secretary had made just days earlier,” the statement read, referring to a report in the Washington Post that Acting Secretary Duke came to her decision to continue “Temporary” Protected Status (TPS) as a de facto amnesty program despite pressure from Kelly.
In spite of that report, Breitbart News uncovered a memo from another long-time Kelly confidante, circulating in the Department of Homeland Security before that decision, that urged very similar arguments to those Duke and her staff eventually used to extend TPS.
“I hope the Senate will take up Ms. Nielsen’s nomination as quickly as possible,” HSGAC Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) said after his committee approved Nielsen.