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Kelly: Protected Immigrants Need Path to Citizenship

Chris Wallace Dings John Kelly for Undermining the White House's 'Cover Story' on Trump-Nielsen Fight

They're overwhelmingly rural people, ' said the Boston-born Kelly.

They're not bad people.

"When world leaders come in - you know Bibi Netanyahu who was here and who's under investigation himself - and it's like you walk in and you know the first couple of minutes of every conversation might revolve around that kind of thing", Kelly said, using the nickname for the Israeli Prime Minister who is under investigation in two separate criminal probes. He added that he sympathized with their reasons for attempting to come to the USA but that he believed they wouldn't "easily assimilate into the United States".

The White House chief of staff, John Kelly, defended the practice of separating immigrant parents from their children at the border.

Kelly said that frequently stories in the Washington Post or the New York Times were based on "rumor" and cited dishonorable or low-level sources.

The White House Chief of Staff created a controversy on Friday after he described many illegal immigrants as poorly educated rural residents who were not skilled workers. "They don't speak English; obviously that's a big thing", Kelly continued, propagating xenophobic beliefs that have marked the Trump era since the presidential campaign. And I sympathize with the reason.

During the interview, NPR's John Burnett asked Kelly about the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy of immigrants crossing the border into the US without documentation.

"It would be a tough deterrent".

"In retrospect, I wish I had been here from day one", Kelly said.

But Kelly indicated his support for a pathway to citizenship for immigrants now in the United States under Temporary Protected Status. Earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security said it would end protections for 57,000 Hondurans in January 2020, leaving them vulnerable to deportation.

Kelly's comments quickly sparked outrage, with some reporters and social media personalities took to Twitter to defend immigrants who come to the United States. "This is not the first time he's said it".

He placed the blame on Congress for refusing to solve the problem and said that the DHS should continue to enforce existing laws in the meantime.