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As we’ve seen from the Trump Administration in its first few months, and from news from this past week, Department of Homeland Security chief John Kelly is a man with lowered standards and no priorities: none for the immigrants whom his department is deporting, and none for the Deportation Force he wants to hire to remove them.
Secretary Kelly was on “Meet the Press” yesterday, where he — in a roundabout, we-are-and-we-aren’t kind of way — stated that all undocumented immigrants in the US are eligible for deportation under the Trump Administration. As Kelly said:
Well, the laws on the books are pretty straightforward. If you’re here illegally, you should leave or you should be deported, put through the system…It’s a very complicated problem. But the law is the law…Even a single DUI, depending on other aspects, would get you into the system.
Kelly is understating it — the current standard is way lower than that, and it doesn’t even take a DUI to “get into the system”. A Florida investigation this week found that mere traffic offenses were enough to lead to detention and deportation. And the Washington Post reported that “the number of noncriminals deported is higher this year, while the number of criminals who were deported fell.” DHS’ actions, unfortunately, under Kelly’s watch have not been very ambiguous: they’ve rounded up, detained, and deported thousands of “low priority” immigrants, many of them mothers and fathers who have been in the US for decades while contributing to the economy and paying taxes.
As Kelly himself alludes to in the interview*, these are people who were relatively safe under previous administrations, who have become in danger under this administration — because his DHS has no standards / no priorities for who actually deserves deportation.
Meanwhile, a Washington Post article from last week revealed that DHS is considering lowering hiring standards for Customs and Border Protection officers, because too many applicants are currently failing polygraph tests designed to weed out candidates with criminal histories and candidates who might actually be cartel spies.
That’s right: some Muslims and some immigrants have committed crimes, and so Trump and Kelly want to ban all Muslims, conduct “extreme vetting”, and deport everyone who’s undocumented. But for Customs and Border Protection, the organization Politico once called “America’s most out-of-control law enforcement agency”, which once killed a teenager by telling him to drink liquid meth – Trump and Kelly want to lower standards and create less accountability. Plus, in the last decade, standards were lowered and it didn’t turn out well at all.
It seems obvious to us that Kelly has this backwards: DHS should have higher standards and better priorities for who is deported, as well as higher standards for those who will be doing the detaining and deporting.
We ourselves once had high hopes for Sec. Kelly, a Marine Corps general described as having the “highest integrity”. Unfortunately, Kelly is proving himself to be a man of lowered standards, who cares less about effective immigration policy and more about his boss’ nonsensical restrictionist ideology.
* CHUCK TODD: So can you give me an example of somebody that wasn’t deported before that you’re deporting now?
SEC. JOHN KELLY: Well, someone, as an example, with multiple DUIs. Even a single DUI, depending on other aspects, would get you into the system. And remember, for the most–
CHUCK TODD: And this wouldn’t have been the case under the –
SEC. JOHN KELLY: Unlikely.