Sunday on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” host Chuck Todd asked Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly if deporting people who are in the United States illegally was “the best use of money.”
Partial transcript as follows:
TODD: I began by asking him if the administration is creating in effect a new large deportation force.
KELLY: There are a huge number — as you know, of illegal aliens or undocumented individuals that have to be dealt with in one way or another. I would argue, Chuck, that we have to straighten this out. And I think — I place that squarely on the United States congress. It’s a hugely complex series of laws and I get an awful — I engage the hill quite a bit. And I get a lot of — I get an earful about what I should do and what I shouldn’t do. But it all comes down to the law, doesn’t it? We are a nation of laws. I would hope that the congress fixes a lot of these problems.
TODD: You say it’s on Congress, but there are others who say if you enforce the law on the books. So what is the issue? Are the laws on the books hard to enforce and they need to be changed? Is that what you’re saying here?
KELLY: Well, the laws on the books are pretty straightforward. If you here illegally you should leave or should be deported. Put through the system. But there are 11 million people and it’s very complicated. There are people who came here as children. There are people who came here illegally many years ago and they have married local men and women who have children. It’s a complicated problem, but the law is the law. Given — but I don’t have unlimited capacity to execute.
TODD: Is it the best use of money? Is this the resources you need, you need to hire more people to deal with this issue? Is that your number one problem?
KELLY: I think so. The people — you know, it’s two aspects. ICE operates more or less on the interior and, you know, through targeted actions against illegal aliens plus. What I mean by that is just because you’re in the United States illegally doesn’t necessarily get you targeted. It’s got to be something else. we’re operating on the other end of the spectrum, criminals multiple convictions.
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