NILC Responds to Appointment of Gen. John Kelly to Head Homeland Security

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 7, 2016

CONTACT
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149, gastelum@nilc.org

NILC Responds to Appointment of Gen. John Kelly to Head Homeland Security

LOS ANGELES — News outlets have reported that President-elect Donald Trump will appoint retired Marine General John Kelly as secretary of the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS). The head of DHS oversees several agencies charged with adjudicating many immigration processes, as well as border and immigration enforcement, among others. Kelly’s appointment has not been formally announced and is pending Senate confirmation.

Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“Gen. John Kelly, if confirmed, will be in a critical position to determine how President-elect Trump’s priorities on immigration are converted into policy and practice. We urge Kelly to keep America’s values of inclusion and respect for human dignity at the forefront of his direction of our nation’s immigration programs. And we hope that he will stand up to others who have Trump’s ear who would rather have it another way.

“However, Kelly’s experience with immigration issues is thin. And with the potential appointments of others who have shown a blatant disregard for our values in their pursuit of inhumane immigration policies, it remains to be seen what approach he will take. One individual reportedly being considered to serve as Kelly’s deputy, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, was a key author of a series of racially motivated, largely unconstitutional state laws—such as Arizona’s SB 1070—that aimed to make life miserable for immigrants and have mostly been struck down by federal courts.

“We hope Kelly will reject extremist voices that would try to inject that same line of failed thinking into our national politics, and instead side with those who seek sensible and humane solutions. Similarly, we hope he will reject those who would treat our borders like a war zone, and instead recognize that the border region is home to millions of people and businesses that need our national leaders to value its commercial and cultural importance. This is done by building bridges, not walls.”

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