Home­land Se­cu­rity chief says Dream­ers should rest easy.

Fer­ret­ing out ‘worst’ res­i­dents is top pri­or­ity

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY TOM HOW­ELL JR.

Home­land Se­cu­rity Sec­re­tary John F. Kelly said Sun­day that any­one in the coun­try il­le­gally is sub­ject to de­por­ta­tion by law but that so-called “Dream­ers” should rest easy and that un­doc­u­mented res­i­dents should still re­port do­mes­tic vi­o­lence and other crimes.

Mr. Kelly said Pres­i­dent Trump tasked him with two key ob­jec­tives on im­mi­gra­tion — se­cure the South­west bor­der and root out the “worst” of those who re­side in the U.S. un­law­fully and de­port them.

He said that means they aren’t in­ter­ested in chas­ing down so-called “Dream­ers” shielded by Pres­i­dent Obama’s Deferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals (DACA).

“If you are sim­ply here il­le­gally, we don’t re­ally have the time to go af­ter you,” Mr. Kelly told CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Mr. Kelly was try­ing to ad­dress some­what mixed mes­sages on who is at risk for de­por­ta­tion, as Mr. Trump cracks down on il­le­gal im­mi­grants but sug­gests Dream­ers needn’t worry much.

Those get-tough poli­cies were tested in re­cent weeks, af­ter 23-year-old Juan Manuel Montes, who was granted the amnesty, was de­ported to Mex­ico in Fe­bru­ary.

Im­mi­grant rights groups and Democrats ral­lied to his cause, but Mr. Kelly has said Mr. Montes gave up his right to be part of the pro­gram through “il­le­gal ac­tions.”

Mr. Kelly also said il­le­gal im­mi­grants should still re­port lo­cal of­fenses, af­ter law en­force­ment said they feared a drop in re­ported crimes from cer­tain com­mu­ni­ties was the di­rect re­sult of Mr. Trump’s im­mi­gra­tion poli­cies.

“They should re­port that crime,” Mr. Kelly said, also not­ing they can usu­ally do so anony­mously.

Sen. Richard Durbin, Illi­nois Demo­crat, said if Mr. Trump re­ally wants to pro­tect peo­ple, he should stop tar­get­ing sanc­tu­ary cities that refuse to alert fed­eral of­fi­cials of il­le­gal im­mi­grants in their cus­tody, so that un­doc­u­mented res­i­dents can come for­ward freely when crimes oc­cur.

Mr. Trump should ask lo­cal po­lice of­fi­cials, “point blank, what is the most im­por­tant thing we can do to main­tain law and or­der?” Mr. Durbin told CNN.

Mr. Durbin also warned Mr. Trump not to in­sist on fund­ing to pay for his bor­der wall with Mex­ico in a stop­gap fund­ing bill that must be passed by Fri­day, say­ing it amounted to a “poi­son pill” that could lead to a gov­ern­ment shut­down.

“Don’t you re­mem­ber? He said the Mex­i­cans were go­ing to pay for it,” Mr. Durbin said.

Yet Mr. Kelly gave no in­di­ca­tion that Mr. Trump planned to back off the de­mand.

“I think it goes with­out say­ing that the pres­i­dent has been pretty straight­for­ward about his de­sire and the need for a bor­der wall,” Mr. Kelly said. “So I would sus­pect, he’ll do the right thing for sure, but I would sus­pect he will be in­sis­tent on the fund­ing.”


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