John Kelly, a retired U.S. Marine Corps General, was recently nominated as Secretary of Homeland Security by President-elect Donald Trump. Kelly is a career military servicemember. He served in the Marines for over four decades, retiring in January of 2016.
During his time in the Marines, Kelly served in both the Persian Gulf War and the Iraq War. Subsequently, he served as the commander of the United States Southern Command, the arm of the Marines responsible for military operations in Latin America and the Caribbean. As the leader of the Southern Command, Kelly fought to disrupt illicit drug rings in South and Central America, and he oversaw military operations at Guantánamo Bay.
As the Secretary of Homeland Security, Kelly would be in charge of all immigration agencies, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Although the Secretary cannot directly create immigration policy, he has the authority to enhance enforcement measures and alter the processes through which immigration applications are adjudicated. The President, on the other hand, is empowered to unilaterally affect immigration policy by executive order which is then implemented with the collaboration of the Secretary.
Kelly and Trump see eye-to-eye on many immigration issues. Kelly warned at a Senate Armed Service Committee hearing that human smugglers trafficked “tens of thousands of people” into the U.S. with “relative ease” and that “these smuggling routes are a potential vulnerability” to the country, echoing some of the anxieties that Trump has propagated. Trump claims that “[Kelly] is the right person to spearhead the urgent mission of stopping illegal immigration and securing our borders.”
If you have questions or concerns about expected changes in immigration law and policy that may affect your case or your immigration status, call the Law Office of Adam N. Crandell to schedule a consultation. We will review your case in its entirety and provide you with a complete and honest assessment of your circumstances in light of any and all expected changes under the new administration.
This post was researched and co-authored by law clerk Daniel Schutrum-Boward (University of Maryland Carey School of Law, Class of 2018).