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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
SAN DIEGO - Today, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly delivered brief remarks during a media availability in San Diego:
"In our system of government, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice enforce the laws passed by the United States Congress. That includes our immigration laws. These laws exist to keep our people safe and our nation sovereign.
Both the Attorney General and I are serious about border security and enforcing our immigration laws. In accordance with the Executive Orders signed earlier this year, we have ended dangerous “catch and release” enforcement policies. We have significantly increased detainers for deportation. And we have arrested more criminal aliens.
We will continue to expand our approach to deterring illegal migration. That includes constructing a physical barrier, supporting it with technology, and patrolling it with a dedicated and professional workforce.
It also includes our approach of prosecuting anyone who pays traffickers to smuggle people into the country—especially those who smuggle in children, including family members here. Human smuggling across our border puts individuals – especially children - at great risk of assault, abuse and even death at the hands of smuggler and coyotes. There is nothing the Attorney General and I want more than to put human smugglers out of business, and we will do everything in our power—and within the law—to end the flow of illegal migration.
Our efforts are working. As I reported back in March, we’ve seen a dramatic reduction in illegal migration across the southwest border. In fact, March apprehensions were 30 percent lower than February apprehensions—and 64 percent lower than the same time last year.
These numbers are lower because DHS and DOJ have shown that we’re serious about border security and enforcing our immigration laws. The dedicated and selfless men and women who do this important work have the knowledge, the training, and the resources, and—and this is a big one—they know that they have an Administration and a Department that “has their back.
I am honored to serve with the men and women of DHS, who do so much every day to keep our country safe and strong."