Ray Kelly for DHS Secretary

  • 09/11/2017 12:00 AM
  • Source: AAN
  • by: Jackson Richman
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With the Trump Administration responding to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, and announcing its decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program by next March, the Department of Homeland Security needs a strong and experienced leader to replace now-Chief of Staff John Kelly.
A source familiar with the conversations over John Kelly’s replacement told Politico, “They are reluctant to put anyone in there without a homeland security background. They want someone who can hit the ground running.”
Ray Kelly has decades of law enforcement and homeland security experience— DHS has law enforcement powers with departments such as U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which Kelly led when the agency was called the U.S. Customs Service before the 2002 reorganization and consolidation of homeland security agencies.  Therefore, if nominated and confirmed, his transition to DHS would be smooth.
As commissioner of the New York Police Department for over a decade, Kelly transformed the NYPD into a world-class counter-terrorism operation in the aftermath of 9/11, described by “60 Minutes” correspondent Scott Pelley as “bigger than the FBI.”
Moreover, Kelly has an impressive history of leading bureaucracies which would suit him well as the nation’s homeland security chief. He was the director of the International Police Monitors of the Multinational Force in Haiti from October 1994 through March 1995, responsible for stopping human rights abuses and establishing a temporary police force there. For this, he was recognized by the Clinton administration and by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The following year, Kelly was the Under Secretary for Enforcement at the Treasury department. This cross-departemental knowledge would make him all the more valuable in an age when communication between Cabinet members is of paramount importance. Around this time, he also served on the executive committee for Interpol—  example of Kelly’s impressive resume.
In 2013, while replacements for then-outgoing DHS secretary Janet Napolitano were being considered, New York Republican representative Peter King, along with now-Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, recommended Kelly, stating that his mix of military, law enforcement, and counterterrorism experience would make him a terrific choice, especially due to his “ab[ility] to fight bureaucratic battles.”
Kelly’s immigration and other related stances fit at least some of Trump’s agenda. In an interview on Fox Business last April, Kelly stated he is against sanctuary cities, touting that New York City was not one under former mayor Michael Bloomberg. Although Kelly said that “local police officers should not be agents of the federal government, doing the federal government’s work” on immigration enforcement, he mentioned his support for the current White House hiring more Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents.
Although the last few months of 2017 are expected to be busy with possibly finally repealing and replacing Obamacare, passing a budget bill by the end of September, tax reform, and more, nominating Ray Kelly to lead DHS would likely have bipartisan support and consist of a relatively easy confirmation—one less battle to pick in Congress.
Considering President Trump has reportedly yet to interview any candidates, he should just substitute one “Kelly” for another.
 Source: AAN
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