WASHINGTON — President Trump’s Homeland Security secretary, John F. Kelly, has been clear about his views on a border wall with Mexico: It won’t work.
When asked by senators about his views on a border wall during his confirmation hearing this month, Mr. Kelly, a retired general, said a “physical barrier will not do the job.”
Mr. Trump said on Wednesday that he would order the construction of a wall along the United States-Mexico border, fulfilling his campaign promise to crack down on illegal immigration and stop the flow of drugs coming into the United States.
Mr. Kelly said that a wall would be effective only to the extent that it was backed up by far more sweeping measures.
“It has to be a layered defense,” Mr. Kelly said during an exchange with Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona. “If you build a wall, you would still have to back that wall up with patrolling by human beings, by sensors, by observation devices.”
Rather than depending on a wall, Mr. Kelly said the key to stopping drug smugglers was to attack the problem at its source.
“I believe the defense of the southwest border starts 1,500 miles south and that is partnering with great countries as far south as Peru who are very cooperative with us in terms of getting after the drug production transport,” he said.
Mr. Kelly has made similar statements about protecting the border when he led the United States Southern Command, overseeing about 1,000 military personnel.Read More...
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