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Published on Jun 18, 2018
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen blamed past administration’s, including George W. Bush’s, for signing off on laws that led to the current crisis. The Trump administration on Monday pushed back against criticism from former first lady Laura Bush of its “zero tolerance” policy that has led to the separation of migrant families. “Frankly, this law was actually signed into effect in 2008 under (Laura Bush’s) husband’s leadership, not under this administration,” Sanders said during Monday’s press briefing. “We’re not the ones responsible for creating this problem. We’ve inherited it,” she added. “But we’re actually the first administration stepping up and trying to fix it.” Bush penned an op-ed for The Washington Post on Sunday in which she lambasted the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy that has led to the separation of thousands of migrant children from their parents. The former first lady seldom comments on the current administration. Nielsen took questions during Monday’s briefing, where she attempted to argue that the current administration is merely enforcing the laws. Asked for a response to comments from Bush and the current first lady, Nielsen said she “shares their concerns.” However, she repeatedly put the onus on Congress to address the issue. “Calling attention to this matter is important. This is a very serious issue that has resulted after years and years of Congress not taking action,” she said. “So I would thank them both for their comments, I would thank them both for their concerns. I share their concerns,” she continued. “But congress is the one that needs to fix this.”