On Feb. 17, the Associated Press reported that a draft memo, written by U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly, that makes the case for deploying 100,000 National Troops to arrest undocumented immigrants in multiple states. This news comes after continued chaos that erupted as a direct consequence of Trump’s Executive Orders and his greenlight, full-speed-ahead order to agents to arrest and detain any and all undocumented immigrants they encounter.
100,000 troops deployed on U.S. soil to conduct sweeps of neighborhoods, schools, places of worship, sports fields and worksites? If true, these are police state tactics that seem more in keeping with a dictatorship ruled by a strong man than a democracy governed through institutions. DHS Secretary Kelly needs to face the American people, tell the truth about this memo and strongly disavow any such radical ideas.
[pullquote]What is he going to do about the agents in Washington state who lied and altered documents in an inept attempt to frame DACA-recipient Daniel Ramírez as a gang member?[/pullquote]
Furthermore, General Kelly needs to come clean on the following: why did he echo the “bad actor” rationale of his agency’s recent enforcement actions when, according to ICE’s own fact sheet, the majority of immigrants detained over the last week were not serious criminals? What is he going to do about the agents in Washington state who lied and altered documents in an inept attempt to frame DACA-recipient Daniel Ramírez as a gang member? What is he going to about the Border Patrol agents who said they arrested a domestic violence victim on the streets when videos clearly show them apprehending the victim in a court house? What is he going to do about ICE agents targeting homeless men coming out of a church shelter in Alexandria, Virginia?
People who know him say General Kelly is an honorable man and a dedicated public servant. Others worry that the Sessions-Bannon-Miller team wants to use him as a front for their extreme measures, without giving him any real authority. Now is the time for General Kelly to step forward and show us what he’s about.
Frank Sharry is the Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund.