United States

Acting DHS Chief: Family Separations ‘Not Worth It' From Enforcement Perspective

His predecessor, Kirstjen Nielsen, was forced out of the job earlier this month, in part because she'd refused to reinstate the policy of separating children from their families at the border, U.S. officials have told NBC News

Acting Homeland Security chief Kevin McAleenan told NBC News that separating migrant families at the U.S. southern border is "not on the table," and the policy was "not worth it" from an enforcement perspective.

In his first network interview as acting DHS secretary to broadcast, McAleenan told NBC News' Lester Holt on Tuesday, "We're not pursuing that approach."

Of the children separated from their families at the border, "they were always intended to be reunited," McAleenan said.

"Really a better system, as I've said many times, would allow us to detain families together during fair and expeditious immigration proceedings and getting actual immigration results from courts, so that’s what’s missing from the current situation," he added in an interview from DHS's offices in the World Trade Center.

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