By Stephen Dinan
June 29, 2017
Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly said Thursday that members of Congress have tried to “threaten” him over his department’s stepped up enforcement of the immigration laws they wrote, and called for even stiffer laws to punish sanctuary cities and repeat-illegal immigrants.
Mr. Kelly said he was “offended” by those lawmakers — who he didn’t name — who he said “often threaten me and my officers” when they try to enforce laws that call for the deportation of illegal immigrants.
It’s the latest blunt criticism from the retired Marine general, who has previously told members of Congress to “shut up” rather than criticize him over the laws they wrote.
He appeared Thursday on Capitol Hill with Speaker Paul D. Ryan and other Republicans, hours before the House was slated to vote on two new crackdown laws.
One would increase penalties on illegal immigrants who have been deported yet snuck back into the U.S. and later committed other crimes. That bill is named Kate’s law, after Kathryn Steinle, the woman killed by an illegal immigrant two years ago while walking the San Francisco waterfront with her father.
The other new bill would punish so-called sanctuary cities that refuse to let authorities cooperate with federal immigration officers trying to deport illegal immigrants.
Mr. Kelly said sanctuary cities aren’t actually sanctuaries, but rather make their communities more dangerous by shielding illegal immigrants.
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