Immigration hardliner Kobach misses out on top Homeland Security job

Immigration hardliner Kobach misses out on top Homeland Security job

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, whose last command included oversight of the Guantanamo Bay detention center, to run the Department of Homeland Security, people close to the transition team said Wednesday.

Trump has already picked retired United States Army lieutenant general Michael T. Flynn to become his national security advisor. General Kelly became the highest-ranking military officer to lose a son or daughter in Iraq or Afghanistan.

In February, Kelly retired as commander of the U.S. Southern Command, an agency which oversees operations in 32 countries in the Caribbean, Central and South America.

John Kelly, a proponent of tighter border controls and a favorite of Congress for his unscripted candor, has emerged as the top choice of President-elect Donald Trump for the cabinet post of Homeland Security secretary. Kelly now serves on the Homeland Security Advisory Council, which makes recommendations to the secretary. James Mattis to serve as Defense Secretary.

In 2002-3 as a colonel and then brigadier general, Kelly returned to the 1st Marine Division, serving under Major Mattis in the successful assault on Baghdad.

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At a rally in North Carolina on Tuesday evening, Trump introduced him to the crowd and said he would be "incredible".

Kelly, who retired in February as chief of U.S. Southern Command, would inherit a massive and often troubled department responsible for overseeing perhaps the most controversial part of Trump's agenda: his proposed crackdown on illegal immigration.

A massive department created in the wake of 9/11, Homeland Security duties range from counter-terrorism to enforcing immigration laws.

"Every one, has real, no-kidding intelligence on them that brought them there", Kelly told Military Times in January of the detainees".

Trump passed over others floated as potential DHS secretaries, such as House Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul (R-Texas) and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Southern Command, which is based in South Florida, regularly works with DHS on missions to identify and dismantle immigrant smuggling networks. He returned there again in 2004, and a third time in 2008, when he was named the top USA commander in western Iraq.

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