Department of Homeland Security Secy Kirstjen Nielsen defended the Trump administration’s appalling policy of snatching children from parents at the border, insisting she’s merely enforcing the law and it’s up to Congress to “fix it.”

“Congress and the courts created this problem and Congress alone can fix it,” she insisted to reporters at the White House briefing, which started four hours late so she could be flown back from New Orleans, reportedly after White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she did not want to field the inevitable questions about the Trump administration’s decision.

Nielsen said the policy was signed into law during the George W. Bush administration.

The DHS “is no longer ignoring the laws,” enforcing them as they exist on the books, she said. The beginning of the unraveling of a democracy she said, is when the body that makes the laws, instead of changing the law, instead tells the enforcement body not to enforce the law.

“DHS will faithfully execute the laws enacted by Congress, as we are sworn to do,” she emoted.

“Parents who entered illegally are by definition criminals … by entering our country illegally often in dangerous circumstances, illegal immigrants have put their children at risk,” she stoutly insisted.

The law dictates that children be removed from adults accused of committing crimes, she said, calling “offensive” reporters’ suggestions the children were being used as a deterrent and a pawn. And yet, she kicked off the presser citing stats: “Since this time last year, there has been a 325% increase in unaccompanied alien children and a 435% increase in family units entering the country illegally.”

“Over the last 10 years, there has been a 1,700% increase in asylum claims,” she added.

“We are a country of compassion; we are a country of heart,” Nielsen insisted as she defended putting kids through this:

Hours earlier, speaking at a national sheriff’s confab in New Orleans, Nielsen said, “We do not have the luxury of pretending that all individuals coming to this country as a family unit are in fact a family. We have to do our job we will not apologize for doing our job; we have sworn to do this job.”

One day earlier, Nielsen had been much mocked for a tweet claiming, “We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period.”

That tweet: