DHS Chief Kelly to Congress: 'Shut Up' or Change Law

Mike Blake  Reuters

U.S. immigration authorities will continue to enforce federal laws against marijuana and use them as a basis to deport undocumented immigrants, says John Kelly, U.S. Secretary for Homeland Security, on Tuesday.

"If lawmakers do not like the laws that we enforce, that we are charged to enforce, that we are sworn to enforce, then they should have the courage and the skill to change those laws".

Kelly said the US -led coalition is chalking up wins in Iraq and Syria against "conventional terrorist formations", but: "The expectation is that many of these holy warriors will survive, come back to their home countries, where they will wreak murderous havoc in Europe, Asia, the Maghreb, the Caribbean and the United States".

In his wide-ranging speech, Kelly outlined DHS responses to cyber threats, terrorism, drug trafficking and department morale in the last 90 days, while repeatedly emphasizing that the threats against the United States are "relentless".

In a speech at George Washington University, Kelly said those organizations are making a lot of money from America's drug problems.

Kelly, a retired Marine general, said criticism of the agency's work is often misguided and based on inaccurate reporting.

"For too long, the men and women of my department have been political pawns", said Kelly. "But as the years have passed we've grown complacent", Kelly said.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly had some strong words for lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

Kelly said it will be up to Congress to help sort out how to treat the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the US, including the so-called "Dream Act" children brought illegally into the country by their parents or guardians. "It stopped with President Trump and it stopped with me", Kelly said. Both the Border Patrol and ICE employee unions endorsed Donald Trump for president. Such individuals were the target of raids in February affecting nearly 700 people in California, Texas, New York and other states, 75 percent of whom DHS said were criminals.

"We will never apologize for enforcing and upholding the law". "They are utterly without laws, conscience or respect for human life". Many have said that these laws unjustly target groups of people and tear apart immigrant families.

"We've seen an unprecedented spike in homegrown terrorism", Kelly disclosed.

Pushing against claims that President Trump's travel ban was meant to block Muslims from entering the country, he argued that critics should instead applaud Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officials for "doing what they do". Even if border patrol intercepts all the illegal substances coming from outside the U.S., the demand for narcotics will be fulfilled by replacement drugs like Crack Cocaine or other designer drugs.

"There was give and take, and he took all of that in and made in my opinion - I don't think he'd mind my saying this - made exactly the right decision".

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