Kelly: full-scale border wall unlikely

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Wednesday announced specific plans regarding the U.S.-Mexico border wall, and also addressed policy regarding the separation of families caught crossing the border illegally.

During his testimony before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Kelly said that the entire border will not be secured by a wall, but through a combination of fences, electronics, towers, and wall structures in areas specified by Customs and Border Protection agents.

“We’re not going to build a wall where it doesn’t make sense, but we’ll do something across the southwest border,” Kelly said.

Kelly testified that he has President Trump’s support in protecting the U.S.-Mexico border in “any way that makes sense.”

“President Trump knows that I’m looking at every variation on the theme—the wall makes sense here, high-tech fencing makes sense over here—I have no doubt he’ll tell me to go and do it,” Kelly said. “It’s unlikely that we build a wall from sea to shining sea, but it is very likely that we will put it where men and women think we should put it.”

According to a Fox News report, the White House asserts that “nothing” Kelly said was “new,” citing Trump’s January 25th Executive Order:

“‘Wall’ shall mean a contiguous, physical wall or other similarly secure, contiguous, and impassable physical barrier’.”

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., asked Kelly for clarification regarding “interpretations” of the wall.

“Can you interpret a wall as being towers, fences, attempt to detect tunnels – an electronic wall?” McCain asked. “Could that fit the definition of a wall?”

Kelly answered, “The wall is all of that.”

“We will do something to secure our border, you all know we’re looking at that – but what it will look like, how thick it will be, what color it will be, has yet to be determined, but we do know that physical borders work when they are put in the right places,” Kelly said. “We have to rely on the folks that work the border—the senior agents know the border in their sector better than anyone.”

Kelly was also questioned about separating mothers from their children at the border, but contended that they would only be separated “if the child’s life is in danger” or if the mother is an addict.

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., asked Kelly if he intended to put the policy in writing, but he told her that a “verbal directive” is enough.

H/T: Fox News

 

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