A new report by Politico claims that the same Democrats who supported President Donald Trump’s nomination of Marine Gen. John Kelly for head of Homeland Security are now turning against him as he works to implement the president’s agenda.
According to Politico reporters Nahal Toosi, Seung Min Kim and Ted Hesson, Kelly’s apparent “appreciation for nuance led many Democrats to back his nomination as Homeland Security secretary in the hopes that he would rein in President Donald Trump’s hardline immigration and security policies.”
“Instead,” the report continues, “Kelly has moved to impose those policies with military rigor. He has pursued an aggressive deportation campaign; defended Trump’s effort to ban visitors from several Muslim-majority countries; and hinted that he might separate migrant parents from their children at the U.S.-Mexico border.”
According to Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), one of the Democrats who confirmed Kelly’s nomination, Sec. Kelly “has drank the Kool-Aid.”
Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), another Democrat who supported Kelly’s nomination, traded jabs with the Homeland Security head for deporting a Honduran mother and child who migrated to the U.S. to escape gang violence and claimed the their deportation “could very likely lead to their death.”
The Politico report states that many Democrats supported Kelly because he “indicated he would not target people enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program,” the President Barack Obama-era program that gives undocumented immigrants who arrived to the U.S. as children work permits and allows them to stay in the country without fear of deportation.
Although Trump has not cancelled DACA, “there have been several reports of DACA recipients being detained or deported, undermining Kelly’s standing among Democrats and pro-immigration activists.”
“The role, the mission of the agency is a very important one, which I support 1,000 percent,” Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a Democrat who opposed Kelly’s nomination, said. “But when it comes to transparency and a clear guidance around what the [immigration] enforcement priorities will be at the agency, I have real questions and real concerns.”
Read the entire report on the changing Democratic reception to Sec. Kelly via Politico.