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Saturday, October 21, 2017

John Kelly is a nightmare in a uniform | The Outline

We should have known.but the media was lazy.

"But contrary to what Sanders had hoped for, Kelly’s record during his short tenure at Homeland Security showed that he was anything but a moderating influence on Trump’s worst instincts. Kelly has supported Trump's idea to build a wall on the Mexican border, has floated the idea of requiring visitors to the country to turn over their social media passwords, and has defended the administration’s travel ban. “I can tell you right now — because of court injunctions, for instance,” he told a House committee in June, “I am not fully confident in our ability to prevent those who seek to do us harm from taking advantage of our generous immigration and visa system.”

Worst of all has been the utter recklessness and inhumanity with which Immigration and Customs Enforcement has operated with since Kelly became the head of Homeland Security, which ICE operates under. As Julianne Hing wrote for The Nation last week, Kelly turned Homeland Security into a “deportation machine,” inflicting “apprehension and fear” on immigrant communities.

Immigration arrests have increased 40 percent since Trump’s inauguration, including more than 10,000 “non-criminal arrests” of people whose only crime is being in the United States. Among the many heartbreaking personal stories of families that have been torn apart by ICE, an Ecuadorian mother and her nineteen-year old son were deported together in June and sent back to a country they fled to escape gang violence.

All of this is contradictory to what Kelly told CNN in April while discussing the legal status of “Dreamers,” or young people who were brought to the United States when they were children, often never having known any other home. “If you are simply here illegally, we don’t really have the time to go after you,” he said then.


In addition, Kelly has suggested “expediting” removals by bypassing immigration courts altogether. Since Kelly took over and suggested that ICE expand a program which effectively deputizes local law enforcement officials to enforce federal immigration laws, the program has nearly doubled its number of participating law enforcement agencies. The program, known as 287(g), was abused by former Sheriff Joe Arpaio to racially profile Latinx people in Maricopa County, Arizona; on Monday, ICE announced 18 new “partnerships” with police departments in Texas.

So, despite the respect he has from both parties, Kelly is right at home with Trump. Even more than that, he’s proven himself to be ruthlessly efficient at a time when most of the executive branch is mired in dysfunction.

Of course, this is still the Trump administration. It’s a very real possibility that Kelly and Trump won’t get along now that they’ll be in closer quarters, and he could be gone before the end of the year for some unforeseen reason. Even Kelly being a success for the administration has the potential to be a double-edged sword: given Trump’s propensity for subtweeting and sniping at people who have played a role in his victories for stealing media attention away from him, it’s not likely that Trump would take too kindly to a plethora of punditry congratulating Kelly if he’s able to turn around a sinking ship.

As bad as things have been over these last six months, they have the potential to get so much worse. The only thing standing between Kelly and helping the administration realize its full potential of being as cruel as possible — on issues like health care, immigration, refugees, tax reform, and setting us off down on a path towards multiple new wars — is the inflated ego and tenuous health of a 71-year old man who could die on the toilet at any point over the next three and a half years.

Considering the army of neocon ghouls who share Trump’s politics (but not his penchant for vulgarity) and are ready to step in as soon as that happens, there will come a time when the left finds itself up against an administration full of Kellys instead of goofy hacks like Anthony Scaramucci or Sean Spicer. And given what we know about what happens in countries that rely on the military to fill a void where credible political leadership has vanished, that should worry everyone."

John Kelly is a nightmare in a uniform | The Outline

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