Advertisement

John Kelly says San Ysidro tour not about 'Draconian moves'

By
Daniel Uria
Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly speaks with reporters during a press availability after meeting with federal, state and local law enforcement officials at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in San Ysidro, California on February 10, 2017. Photo by Howard Shen/UPI
Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly speaks with reporters during a press availability after meeting with federal, state and local law enforcement officials at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in San Ysidro, California on February 10, 2017. Photo by Howard Shen/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly promised "no Draconian moves" while attempting to define so-called sanctuary cities and praised law enforcement officials during a tour of the San Ysidro port of entry Friday.

Kelly toured the security operations at the U.S.-Mexico border crossing, the busiest land border crossing in the world, where he also spoke with California state and federal law enforcement agencies about improving border security. San Ysidro separates Tijuana, Mexico, from San Diego County in California.

Advertisement

"What I saw today, the professionalism that I observed in a very potentially dangerous environment, gave me great pride," Kelly said.

At a news conference during his visit Kelly addressed reports of increased immigration enforcement sweeps in Southern California and several other states.

RELATED Hundreds arrested in immigrations raids in six states

"The people who ICE apprehended are people who are here illegally — and then some," he said, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Kelly said he accompanied Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers on "knock and talks" in which officers go to homes of suspects and knock on their door seeking consent to enter, on Friday morning.

Advertisement

"Went to one house, knocked on the door, and took a particularly bad individual, a male into custody," he said, adding officers made two more arrests on another visit.

RELATED Trump travel ban facing defeat in Virginia; White House may start over instead

When asked by San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman to define a "sanctuary city" Kelly said he had "no idea," but the federal government will "work with you and will make no Draconian moves until I fully understand what a given locale might be doing or not doing."

"It's inconceivable to me that people who are sworn to protect their communities would not want someone, anyone to remove criminals from their communities and send them somewhere else," he said. "I'm stunned when people say, well, we're not going to cooperate with you even in the event of convicted criminals."

He also discussed the restraining order issued by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals against President Donald Trump's immigration order, describing it as a "pause" on refugees and people from the seven listed nations.

RELATED Mexican woman deported after routine immigration check-in

"The vetting process from citizens of those countries are, at best, loose," he said. "I am concerned that we are unable to vet those folks who are coming here in a more meaningful way."

Advertisement

Latest Headlines