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The following is a reaction from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund, regarding the selection of former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly for Chief of Staff:
We had hope for General Kelly when he became DHS Secretary, but we have been deeply disappointed. We thought he’d be an ‘adult in the room’ a la General Mattis, but he’s turned out to be a loyal soldier who has done little more than front for the Bannon-Miller-Sessions assault on immigrants, refugees and our tradition as a welcoming nation. He’s ardently defended the Muslim ban, eviscerated any and all priorities with respect to enforcement and deportations, and thrown sand in our faces about targeting public safety threats. He’s become the pitchman for what can only be described as a mass deportation strategy. When Members of Congress asked why he and his agents aren’t using discretion in cases where hard working immigrants have deep ties to America, he told them to ‘shut up.’ Claiming he’s supportive of Dreamers, he challenged Congress to move legislatively, but after a bipartisan bill was introduced by Senators Durbin (D-IL) and Graham (R-SC), he stated his opposition. The only thing we have been able to discern from six months as DHS Secretary is that John Kelly may look and sound reasonable but his actions have been anything but. He’s a good soldier in Steve Bannon’s crusade. But an ‘adult in the room,’ who can impose order on West Wing chaos? Stand up to Trump and the Mooch? Take the President’s phone from him to stop the mad tweeting? Steer the White House towards decency? No way.