The new US Homeland Security Secretary Gen (retd) John F Kelly has vowed to preserve liberty and uphold rule of law in his position of having the mandate of country's internal security.
The new US Homeland Security Secretary Gen (retd) John F Kelly has vowed to preserve liberty and uphold rule of law in his position of having the mandate of country’s internal security. “I look forward to protecting our nation, its citizens, and preserving our liberty and upholding the rule of law as I continue my service to this great country,” Kelly said in a statement soon after he was sworn in as the fifth secretary of homeland security by the Vice President Mike Pence at the White House.
Kelly was sworn in after the Senate in a swift move confirmed his nomination by 88-11 votes.
“I ask for your patience and prayers as I take on this tremendous task together with you, and my only plea is that together we focus our loyalty on the Constitution that we all have sworn to preserve and protect and the nation we love,” Kelly said.
Kelly previously served in the United States Marine Corps for 45 years closing his career as the commander of the United States Southern Command in 2016.
He has held senior command positions in Iraq and as the senior military assistant to two secretaries of defense.
As secretary of homeland security, Kelly now leads the third largest federal department in the US.
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These include Federal Emergency Management Agency, Transportation Security Administration, US Coast Guard, US Customs and Border Protection, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, US Citizenship and Immigration Service, and the United States Secret Service.
Democratic Senator Mazie K Hirono in a statement expressed concerns whether Kelly would accede to and implement Trump’s “problematic immigration policies”, such as building a border wall, registering Muslims, and deporting millions of undocumented immigrants – particularly if participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, or DREAMers, are targeted.
“During his confirmation hearing, General Kelly said that deporting DREAMers ‘might not be the highest priority’.
“The DACA program gave these young men and women a chance to go to college, get a job, and live legally in the only country they know. Let me be clear. The deportation of DACA participants should not occur under his watch, period,” she said.
Senator John McCain, Chairman of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee, exuded confidence that Kelly’s decades of service and deep understanding of the challenges being faces by the country makes him uniquely equipped for the position.
“His solid background and history of service should be commended and helped ensure this critical national security position was quickly filled.
“Homeland Security is a bipartisan issue which all sides have worked together on – and I hope it continues to remain so. Finding common ground is critical to protecting the nation,” said Congressman Bennie Thompson, Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security.