John Kelly, the new Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is more and more appearing to be either out of his depth or not committed to enforcing the immigration laws of the United States.
When America was overrun with illegal aliens in the 1950s, President Dwight D. Eisenhower called upon a former subordinate during the Second World War, General Jumpin' Joe Swing, an aggressive paratroop commander to purge the corrupt and incompetent Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and aggressively enforce American immigration law. The result was the deportation of millions of illegal aliens and millions more illegal aliens fleeing back to Mexico during Operation Wetback.
First, despite the President speaking forcefully and in detail about sanctuary cities, Secretary Kelly claimed he doesn't even know what sanctuary cities are:
SAN DIEGO — U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told law enforcement officials on a tour of nation’s border with Mexico Friday that he couldn’t define a sanctuary city, which President Donald Trump has targeted for withdrawal of federal funding for refusing to cooperate with immigration authorities.Worse yet, Secretary Kelly appears to be apologizing for and minimizing the recent raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO):
Trump’s executive order on immigration last month says a “sanctuary jurisdiction” defies federal law by shielding people in the country illegally and that they have caused “immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our Republic.”
While sanctuary cities are broadly understood to mean a refusal to cooperate with the federal government on immigration enforcement, a precise definition has eluded many, including in law enforcement.
“I don’t have a clue,” Kelly told San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman when she asked for a definition.
[Homeland Security Head Is Pressed To Define ‘Sanctuary City’, by By Elliot Spagat, WaPo/AP February 11, 2017]
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said the operations, conducted in at least a dozen states, were routine and consistent with regular operations carried out by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.Kelly appears ashamed of the work that his Deportation Officers and Immigration Enforcement Agents are doing. Instead of highlighting the arrests as the begining of the deportation of millions, Kelly downplayed the arrests as normal, echoing other statements by spokesmen that all the arrests were routine and foolishly denying that ICE was conducting raids and roadblocks, instead insisting on the mealy mouthed term "targeted enforcement operations."
[Over 680 Arrested In U.S. Immigration Raids; Rights Groups Alarmed, By Julia Edwards Ainsley and Kristina Cooke, Reuters, February 13, 2017]
WASHINGTON – Last week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched a series of targeted enforcement operations across the country. These operations targeted public safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens and gang members, as well as individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws, including those who illegally re-entered the country after being removed and immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration judges.David Marin, Field Office Director, ICE ERO, Los Angeles District Office, even went so far as to vigorously deny raids and roadblocks, trying to assure illegal aliens that there will be few arrests, despite the Presidential target of removing 3 million illegal aliens in the first two years of his presidency. There is no way that ICE will deport 3 million illegal alien criminals if the Los Angeles District can only arrest 160 illegal aliens, in a region where there are 1 million or so illegal aliens in Los Angeles and Orange Counties alone.
ICE officers in the Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, San Antonio and New York City areas of responsibility arrested more than 680 individuals who pose a threat to public safety, border security or the integrity of our nation’s immigration system. Of those arrested, approximately 75 percent were criminal aliens, convicted of crimes including, but not limited to, homicide, aggravated sexual abuse, sexual assault of a minor, lewd and lascivious acts with a child, indecent liberties with a minor, drug trafficking, battery, assault, DUI and weapons charges.
ICE conducts these kind of targeted enforcement operations regularly and has for many years.
The focus of these enforcement operations is consistent with the routine, targeted arrests carried out by ICE’s Fugitive Operations teams on a daily basis.
[Statement From Secretary Kelly On Recent ICE Enforcement Actions, Press Release, DHS, February 13, 2017]
“The rash of these recent reports about ICE checkpoints and random sweeps and the like, it’s all false, and that’s definitely dangerous and irresponsible,” Marin said. “Reports like that create panic, and they put communities and law enforcement personnel in unnecessary danger.”
[ICE Says L.A. Immigration Arrests Were Planned Long In Advance, Not Tied To New Crackdown, by James Queally, LAT, February 10, 2017]
Even if these "targeted enforcement operations" were already planned, saying so to avert "panic" among illegal aliens is foolish, as it does not encourage those illegal aliens not arrested to flee back to Mexico as Operation Wetback and Jumpin' Joe Swing did. It is correct to point out that the majority of illegal aliens cannot be arrested given enforcement resources, so they must be encouraged to self-deport, which was a major part of the Operation Wetback strategy.