Answering the question whether he would respond to a personal insult and public attack by a politician, Marine Corps General and current White House Chief of Staff John Kelly responded in an exclusive statement to Fox News.
The politician – Illinois Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez – previously personally attacked and insulted Gen. Kelly, saying that he “has no honor” and is a “disgrace to the uniform.”
Gutierrez initially insulted and picked a fight with Gen. Kelly on Sept. 9 after President Donald Trump’s administration announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration policy would be phased out – leaving it in the hands of Congress to either make it a law or not.
Gen. Kelly sent an email to Fox News over the weekend and said that Congress did “nothing” to help so-called DREAMers when they had the chance.
Gen. Kelly hit back: “As far as the congressman and other irresponsible members of congress are concerned, they have the luxury of saying what they want, as they do nothing and have almost no responsibility. They can call people liars but it would be inappropriate for me to say the same thing back at them. As my blessed mother used to say, ‘empty barrels make the most noise.'”
“The congressman has a right to his opinion.” Kelly told Fox News.
Gutierrez had said: “General Kelly is a hypocrite who is a disgrace to the uniform he used to wear. He has no honor and should be drummed out of the White House along with the white supremacists and those enabling the President’s actions by “just following orders.'”
The Congressman continued: “General Kelly, when he was the head of Homeland Security, lied straight to the faces of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus about preventing the mass deportation of DREAMers. Now as Chief of Staff, this former general is executing the plan to take away their lifeline and taking steps to criminalize young people who live and work here legally… I personally will not support any funding bill that does not include a safe harbor for DREAMers – and I will work to have others join me in opposition. If they need our votes, we are bringing 800,000 young immigrants with us.”
Gutierrez is in his 12th term in Congress, serving more than 23 years in Washington, D.C., and is a lifelong politician who represents the heart of Chicago.
Fox News reported:
In announcing the DACA decision with a six-month delay, Trump urged Congress to come up with a legislative solution.
Kelly indicated he’s not getting his hopes up.
“Every DOJ and DHS lawyer says DACA is unconstitutional. Every other legal scholar – right and left – says the same thing. Trump didn’t end DACA, the law did. That said, I worked and succeeded to give the congress another six months to do something. I am not confident,” he said.
Kelly previously served as secretary of Homeland Security, before taking the reins at the Trump White House. In his response to Gutierrez, he noted how he tried to get Congress to focus on DACA since the beginning of the Trump administration.
“During my time at DHS – from 20 Jan until this moment – I have met with hundreds of members on both sides of the hill … My [message] always was ‘I have bought you time to do something on DACA.’ I begged and pleaded with them. They did exactly nothing.”
Gutierrez’ office took exception at Kelly’s description.
“[S]o far we have seen no courage to fight for DREAMers from the President or his Chief of Staff. There is a clear majority in the House today to support measures to defend DACA recipients, but Republicans need to choose whether they want to let that happen or not. So far, the answer is not,” Gutiérrez spokesman Douglas Rivlin said.
He added, “Ending DACA amounts to surrender without a fight for the President and his Chief of Staff.”
The Trump administration announced the end to the program under the threat of lawsuit from Republican state attorneys general. But Rivlin said, “The constitutionality of DACA has never been challenged successfully in court and the Department of Homeland Security, which administers the program, certainly never questioned its constitutionality at its inception or while hundreds of thousands signed up for it.”
At this time it appears that Republicans, who control Congress, have at least three options for dealing with DACA.
They can let it expire without a legislative fix, favored by some conservatives; they can pass a bill that would essentially grant amnesty for the Dreamers and give them work permits, favored by congressional leadership; or they can work with Democrats like Feinstein on some sort of immigration compromise that might include funding for the border wall.