Nielsen said the children are transferred to the custody of Health and Human Services officials within two days.
She added that they have also pushed the Senate to pass Kate's Law, which would increase penalties for criminals who have been deported who illegally return to the U.S. The bill passed in the House last summer. "If you are parent, or you're a single person or if you happen to have a family, if you cross between the ports of entry we will refer you for prosecution".
She particularly pointed to asylum fraud, which has been thrust back into the spotlight in recent weeks with dozens of migrants arriving at the U.S. -Mexico border seeking asylum and entry into the country.
Under sometimes heated questioning from California Sen.
"For a party that allegedly believes that government doesn't do a lot right, having soldiers babysit children - separated from their parents - probably not the best moment in our history", he added.
The Trump administration last month testified it lost track of 20% - or almost 1,500 children - of the undocumented minors that had been in its custody over a three-month period at the end of 2017.
HHS operates more than 100 shelters across the nation for children seized at the border.
"I think a conversation about compassion - that's predicated upon defending separating children from their families and putting children on military bases - is fundamentally flawed".
Nielsen denied that she had been asked to separate illegal alien parents from their children as a method of deterrence.
The New York Times was first to report last week that Nielsen was "close" to resigning after Trump yelled at her in front of colleagues about his stance that undocumented immigrant children should be separated from their parents when they cross into the USA illegally.
"The President is rightly frustrated that existing loopholes and the lack of Congressional action have prevented this administration from fully securing the border and protecting the American people", she said.
United Bank Decreases Stake in Celgene (CELG)
Wall Street ended a choppy session slightly higher on Monday as weakness in defensive stocks offset trade optimism following U.S. On Wednesday, December 27 the stock of Celgene Corporation ( NASDAQ : CELG ) has "Market Perform" rating given by Bernstein.