Chief of Staff John Kelly, a retired US Marine Corps General who until only recently headed the Department of Homeland Security, rarely makes public comments regarding the news of the day. But Kelly made an exception to this rule-of-thumb after a Democrat Congressman published disparaging personal remarks about his military service.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, Kelly responded to the insult of Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), who called the Chief of Staff a “disgrace to the uniform” after the White House announced the end of Obama’s DACA work program. Kelly took issue with congressmen who “do nothing” and specifically fired back at Gutierrez, stating “empty barrels make the most noise.”
Kelly sent his comments to Fox News via email. He questioned the criticism of Gutierrez and other Democrat senators, whom he accuses of having done “nothing” to help the DACA beneficiaries they now want to defend.
Turning the tables on the critical pro-immigration wing of Congress, Kelly wrote: “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.”
Kelly seemingly took the high ground, using more subdued language to address Gutierrez’s harsh remarks. “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 Chief of Staff finished his comments on the Illinois congressman by writing: “The Congressman has a right to his opinion.” The statement is a sharp contrast to Gutierrez’s take reaction to the White House’s DACA announcement, as seen on the House.gov website.
“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,'” Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez singled out Kelly for allegedly misleading pro-immigration congressmen about the fate of DACA beneficiaries. The Illinois Democrat claims Kelly said in a closed-door meeting that he would work to prevent the deportation of illegal immigrants covered by DACA.
Gutierrez wrote: “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.”
But as Breitbart notes, deportation procedures do not begin immediately. Current beneficiaries keep their protected status for the next six months. They have until October 5 to apply for a renewal of their 2-year work permits. Those who already had a renewal request in progress when the announcement was made will have their petitions honored.
Do-nothing Dem Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) disparages Gen. Kelly. Will the “empty barrel” Dems be able to pass something to save the DACA program?
As seen on Twitter, President Trump has urged Congress to use the six-month delay to legalize DACA. But Kelly believes Congress will not act. He stated: “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.”
Kelly has allegedly urged Congress to pass legislation on DACA. “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.”
Although Democrats and establishment GOP voice support for legalizing DACA, the Republican base is largely opposed to any form of amnesty. As a result, DACA’s fate remains uncertain.