Later in his speech, Kelly called out members of Congress who have questioned the techniques of DHS: "If lawmakers do not like the laws that we are charged to enforce, that we are sworn to enforce, then they should have the courage and the skill to change those laws". Such individuals were the target of raids in February affecting nearly 700 people in California, Texas, New York and other states, 75 percent of whom DHS said were criminals.
The comment came during a discuss regarding the flow of drugs to United States from Central America and Mexico; Chuck Todd asked Kelly if legalizing marijuana would hurt this.
But Kelly said he hopes Congress will begin to view the budget not in terms of defense and non-defense spending, but rather as security and non-security resources. Instead, he said it's because an indicator or tip, such as something they said or the content on their mobile phone, prompted officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to make that decision.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said that apprehensions at the Southwestern border have fallen sharply during his first 90 days in office, but there is still security work to be done in the United States and overseas.
Leopold said he is anxious because there "is no enforcement priority, the priority of this administration is to instill fear". He said it is on parents, teachers, coaches and law enforcement agencies to find a comprehensive solution for "the addictive US drug demand".
However, according to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly, the new administration has no interest in waging a war against weed - at least not along the borders. He also noted that "there's about 600 miles of barrier already in place". "But as the years have passed we've grown complacent", Kelly said. He did not say how or when such changes might happen. "It's the United States criminal justice system - or the justice system - that deports people". Marijuana remains a "dangerous gateway drug that frequently leads to the use of harder drugs", Kellysaid Tuesday, echoing the sentiments of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a staunch opponent of legalization.
"Most of those countries are visa waiver countries", Kelly said. He warned of the terrorist diaspora that could rock the world as ISIS is defeated in its waining strongholds of Iraq and Syria and foreign fighters return home, including to countries that may be part of the waiver program.
Kelly and DHS have received intense public criticism since President Donald Trump introduced an executive order to ban Muslims from entering the United States from specific countries in February.
"I returned from the border last week and they told me that quite a number of the people they arrest are hauling marijuana across the border as illegal entrants themselves or illegally coming across the border", Sessions said.
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