DHS Secretary Nielsen asks for volunteers to help at the border

Posted at 7:15 PM, Mar 29, 2019

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen sent a letter earlier this week asking DHS employees to volunteer to assist with the southern border mission.

“The situation at our Southern Border is dire,” wrote the secretary, adding that Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement are “not equipped” to deal with the current migrant surge.

The secretary’s request, which was sent to agency leaders, included a need for volunteers to assist with transportation, food distribution, medical assessments and “hospital watch.” The department is comprised of 14 components, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Transportation Security Administration and the Coast Guard.

Nielsen also requested attorneys to volunteer on a 12-month rotation to conduct immigration litigation and case support.

“Prior immigration experience is not required” and training will be provided, she wrote in the letter obtained by CNN.

And she asked for assistance from doctors and other medical professionals to evaluate and assess detained migrants.

Nielsen released a statement earlier Friday in which she said she had asked for volunteers to help within the Department of Homeland Security and that she is also “appealing to interagency partners for further assistance.”