MFV Reaction to Nomination of General John Kelly to Lead the Department of Homeland Security



December 7, 2016



Anna Castro | annac@mifamiliavota.org | 619.228.5332

MFV Reaction to Nomination of General John Kelly to Lead the Department of Homeland Security

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The following is a statement from Ben Monterroso, executive director of Mi Familia Vota:

“Today we learned that retired U.S. Marine Corps General John Kelly has been selected by President-elect Donald Trump to lead the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Although we must wait and see who else is offered leadership positions within DHS, we have serious concerns for what Gen. Kelly’s appointment would mean for the immigrant community and in particular, U.S. citizens and aspiring citizens alike in the borderlands.

After definitively losing the popular vote, it is clear that Trump lacks a mandate to implement the xenophobic policies he proposed while campaigning. Although he’s made vague comments about wanting to work something out for people with DACA, he continues to speak about mass deportations and constructing an unnecessary wall at the southern border. It is with this in mind that we must analyze why Gen. Kelly was his choice for this department. With a highly decorated military career, his appointment marks the third retired general to be selected for a position in the Trump Administration.

Gen. Kelly made statements in March 2015 during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that indicate he has a similar view of the border than Trump and may continue a bad pattern of over-militarization. We will monitor developments on this transition carefully, as it affects the borderland communities that Mi Familia Vota serves in Arizona, California, Texas, and Florida.

In the end, while we recognize the devil will be in the details, Mi Familia Vota’s role remains clear: to ensure dignity and respect for our communities. We must remain vigilant and monitor who else will be nominated to leadership positions within DHS to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, an agency rife with accusations of Constitutional violations, and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, charged with interior enforcement. This will be crucial to understanding what we can expect from the Department of Homeland Security under Trump and Kelly.