Homeland Security Chief Rejects Deportation Force Notion

The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has defended the plan to hire thousands of extra border control and immigration agents. He claims that greater numbers are needed because of the low bar on criminal behavior committed by undocumented immigrants, implemented by the Trump administration. But John Kelly rejects the idea that the DHS is creating a ‘deportation force’.

In an interview on Sunday, on the NBC television program, Meet the Press with Chuck Todd, Kelly said the US law is quite clear that undocumented immigrants should either leave the country of their volition or be deported. The DHS chief says that criminals are the primary focus of the Trump administration, particularly those with many criminal convictions. He added that lesser offenses are now more emphasized than was the case with the Obama administration.

The Washington Post claimed this week that the DHS plans to hire a further 10,000 customs and immigration enforcement officials, and an extra 5000 border security agents while expanding the number of detention beds to accommodate undocumented immigrants. On the talk show, Kelly admitted that the DHS has changed where it operates on the criminality spectrum.

Kelly made his comments as Congress prepares to continue debating the policies of the Trump administration and the plan to construct a wall on the border between the US and Mexico, with a broad spending bill for the rest of the fiscal year. Funds for border security are also up for consideration this month.