Although Donald Trump continues to demand a “wall” on the southern border of the United States, his administration has long favored enhanced security measures in the broad sense, says White House Secretary General John Kelly, in an interview published Sunday.
“To be honest, it’s not a wall,” said General Kelly in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, while part of the federal administration has been paralyzed for nine days because of a standoff over that question.
The president, who has made the fight against illegal immigration one of his hobby horses, refuses to sign a budget law if it does not include $ 5 billion to build a wall on the border with Mexico. “Border guards need the wall,” he tweeted again Saturday.
The Democrats reject this requirement and in exchange offer more than a billion for other security measures at this border, 3,200 km long. The standoff has resulted in a 25% shutdown of federal governments that have not been funded since December 22 at midnight.
“The president is still saying” wall “- sometimes he’s talking about” fence “or” fence “, now he’s leaning for iron bars. But we abandoned the idea of a solid and concrete wall at the beginning of this administration, “says John Kelly, who will be replaced in two days by the current budget director at the White House, Mick Mulvaney.
The former Marine, who served as Minister of Homeland Security before becoming Secretary General of the White House in July 2017, said she reached that conclusion by talking to border guards and customs officials.
“They told us, we need physical barriers in some places, we need technologies everywhere, and we need more men,” he says.
In this interview, John Kelly, whose relations with the president had deteriorated over the months, speaks of migrants with much more empathy than Donald Trump.
While the Republican billionaire regularly accuses undocumented migrants of harboring criminals, or even terrorists, within them, General Kelly assures that “illegal immigrants are not, in the vast majority of cases, bad people. ”
“I have only compassion for them, young children,” he adds, as a seven-year-old girl and an eight-year-old boy, both from Guatemala, died in detention In two separate incidents in December.
On Saturday, President Trump did not hesitate to use these dramas in his face-to-face democrats, whom he accused of being solely responsible for the deaths of these children.