General John Kelly
President-elect Donald Trump selected retired General John Kelly to be his nominee for Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In February of this year, Kelly retired as commander of the U.S. Southern Command, which is responsible for U.S. military operations in the Caribbean and Central and South America. There is not much in the record to indicate Kelly’s views on immigrants and immigration.
He is however, on the record regarding perceived threats to the U.S. from south of the border and how they should be handled.
In testimony to the Senate in March of 2015, he told members of the Armed Services Committee that terrorists could exploit existing criminal networks trafficking in drugs and persons—perhaps even bringing weapons of mass destruction into the U.S. along existing smuggling routes. He acknowledged that the government had not yet seen evidence that criminal smuggling networks were interested in supporting terrorist groups, but he said he was “deeply concerned that smuggling networks are a vulnerability that terrorists could seek to exploit.” That said, he had no indication that this was happening or could happen soon. It was an assessment of Risk, whose impact and likelihood were both low. He had no opinion on the 11 million immigrants who are already here and the women and children fleeing conflict.
Was Trump acting on the campaign trail or is he acting now? Starting January, will we start seeing cattle trains headed south with military precision?