John Kelly admits his role on weakening Trump on immigration; Kelly supports amnesty and opposes a full border wall
White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly told Democratic lawmakers Wednesday that the United States will never construct a physical wall along the entire stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border and that some of President Trump’s campaign promises on immigration were “uninformed.”
...During the meeting, Kelly repeatedly said that Trump supports enacting permanent legal protections for young immigrant “dreamers” [note: they're illegal aliens, not "immigrants"] and that he has helped the president evolve on immigration policy. But the meeting ended with no resolution to what exactly the administration wants in exchange for authorizing permanent legal protections for the at least 690,000 people enrolled in the program, according to several attendees.
...“The president is committed to a permanent solution to DACA,” Kelly told the meeting.
...“I worked to get the six-month extension of DACA. I ordered that. I managed that. And everyone has thanked me for that,” [Kelly] told the group.
[Asked about the wall, Kelly said] “Certain things are said during the campaign that are uninformed."
...“A concrete wall from sea to shining sea” is not going to happen, Kelly said. Instead, “a physical barrier in many places” is what the administration is requesting. Kelly used the term “physical barrier” several times during the meeting, attendees said.
...Instead, “we need 700 more miles of barrier,” Kelly said — a concession that a physical barrier does not need to stretch the entire length of the border.
“Concrete wall would be good in only certain places,” he added, saying that manpower and drone technology should suffice in some parts.
Kelly also said that there will be no wall “that Mexico will pay for.”
After serving as homeland security secretary and commander of U.S. military forces in Latin America, Kelly told lawmakers that he has helped Trump “evolve on issues of the wall.”
“I had a lot to do with that,” he said of Trump’s change in position regarding border security.
“He campaigned against DACA,” Kelly said of Trump, but since then, “he’s lightened up.”
Kelly and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen have been privately complaining about Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall as ill-advised since their early days in the administration, when Kelly was homeland security secretary and Nielson was his senior adviser, according to a person familiar with their discussions...
Others at the meeting included Robert Menendez, Adriano Espaillat, Lucille Roybal Allard, Steny Hoyer, Judy Chu, and Luis Gutierrez. The last apologized to Kelly for comments he'd made about him and Kelly said that "means a lot". Nancy Pelosi set up the meeting. Kelly wants Tom Cotton, David Perdue, and Bob Goodlatte to get involved in any amnesty deal, not just the usual suspects like Lindsey Graham.
While Trump Wall is an idiotic idea, what Kelly is doing flies in the face of the promises Trump made to get elected. Kelly and Trump would trade amnesty (that will happen right away and will be larger than expected) for border security that the very people agreeing to the deal will work to undercut.
1/18/18 UPDATE: Trump has fired back at his own chief of staff in three tweets :
The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it. Parts will be, of necessity, see through and it was never intended to be built in areas where there is natural protection such as mountains, wastelands or tough rivers or water.....
....The Wall will be paid for, directly or indirectly, or through longer term reimbursement, by Mexico, which has a ridiculous $71 billion dollar trade surplus with the U.S. The $20 billion dollar Wall is “peanuts” compared to what Mexico makes from the U.S. NAFTA is a bad joke!
We need the Wall for the safety and security of our country. We need the Wall to help stop the massive inflow of drugs from Mexico, now rated the number one most dangerous country in the world. If there is no Wall, there is no Deal!
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