DHS Secretary John Kelly: Our Priorities are ‘Criminal Offenders’ — Who Are Here Illegally — Not ‘Mass Deportations’

DHS Secretary John Kelly is telling it like it is. He’s not beating around the bush. In a news conference in Guatemala, after talking to the country’s president, Kelly tells the press there won’t be mass round ups but the U.S. is cracking down on illegal immigration. He also describes what people would face if they were going to come here illegally and it’s not pretty.

“We are not going out and doing mass deportations,” Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told a news conference in Guatemala, after talks with that country’s president.

He said that two memos he signed Tuesday, enacting directions from US President Donald Trump to clamp down on immigrants deemed to be in the United States illegally would prioritize “criminal offenders” while ensuring due process in US courts was upheld.

“But there will be no mass roundups. When we do take someone into custody they are then put into the American legal justice system — that’s the courts, and it’s the courts that will decide what happens to them,” he said.

Kelly said that Trump’s executive order meant a boost in the number of US border patrol officers and the construction of a “physical barrier” — the wall Trump has repeatedly vowed to have built along the entire border with Mexico.

The Department of Homeland Security was therefore now working on “the expansion of expedited removal operations, prioritizing criminal prosecutions for immigration offenses committed at the border, and empowering state and local enforcement agencies to assist in enforcing immigration laws,” Kelly said.

He offered “sincere advice” to any Guatemalans thinking of paying people smugglers to try to get them illegally into the United States “to not do it.”

He added that, “by law, we are required to return irregular migrants to their home country.”

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