Category Archives: Military

Stories about the US or other militaries and their soldiers, civilians and equipment or policies

Trump to ban transgender US Military service….

He will undo the Obama Admin ok for transgender people serving in the US Military….

Defense Sec Mattis was to give Congress his view on the Obama policy change and he had already put that off for 6 months…

The  military never liked the acceptance of gay’s in the military change Obama made either…..

The decision came by twitter….

President Trump said he will ban transgender people from serving in the military in any capacity, a reversal of the Obama administration decision that would have allowed transgender recruits to serve, he announced on social media on Wednesday.

Citing the need to focus on victory, Trump said that the military cannot accept the burden of higher medical costs and “disruption” that transgender troops would require.

“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”….

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China bulks up against North Korea….

Hmmmmm?

China is preparing for a potential crisis with North Korea by increasing its defences along their shared border, including establishing a new border brigade and building bunkers for civilians, the Wall Street Journal reported.

China has been strengthening its defences along the North Korean border since Pyongyang’s first nuclear test in 2006, including building a fence along parts of the border and stepping up patrols.

China has also realigned military forces in the country’s northeast, the report added, citing Chinese military and government websites and Chinese and foreign experts.

The Chinese government has repeatedly said there can be no military solution for the North Korea issue.

China is in the midst of a broad military reorganisation and modernisation programme….

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Trump turns down McMasters effort to grow the Afghan War…

While ALL the national media fawns on every burp from Donald Trump?

The most important story of the last few days has gone almost unnoticed …..

Last week President Trump sat down with his National Security people to discuss Afghanistan….

What should the US do?

National Security Advisor it is reported went to bat for an expanded effort in the country that the French and Russian left and the US has tried to extract itself rom recently ….

The scoop is Defense Sec Mattis and Sec of State Tillerson came out against any escalation that McMaster advanced….(A small increase in troops was given an Ok)

Image result for trump/mcmaster

Trump , it is reported, took the two  guys side against McMaster, asking a question the French, Russians , Bush Admin and Obama Admin have ALL asked….

Essentially , WTF are we doing there and Why?

I don’t think much of Donald Trump…But on this one?…

He’s Right…..

…….the session of the National Security Council Principals Committee, described by two sources briefed on it as a “s*** show” that featured what a third source, a senior White House official, confirmed was a heated debate where “words were exchanged,” proved no more successful than months’ worth of previous Afghan policy debates.

Trump refused to sign off on the plan they approved, the sources said, instead sending it back to his national security team demanding more work. And on Tuesday, the president made clear just how dissatisfied he was. In what were pretty much his first public comments on Afghanistan during his six months in office, he told reporters before a White House lunch, “I want to find out why we’ve been there for 17 years.” On Thursday, headed into a Pentagon meeting, he was similarly cagey. Asked about more troops for Afghanistan, he replied only, “We’ll see.”

Trump’s equivocation reflects the difficulty of figuring out what to do about an unceasing war that is once again at an impasse without an influx of new troops. “We are not winning in Afghanistan,” Defense Secretary James Mattis testified last month.

But the president’s hesitation is also, according to multiple current and former senior U.S. officials I’ve spoken with in recent days, a striking vote of no-confidence in his national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, who has been trying and failing for months to sell the president on a new plan for Afghanistan.

McMaster has made a major policy review of America’s long, failed war there his personal mission, according to the sources, and he pushed hard to get a new strategy that would include the relatively modest troop increases and a commitment to at least another four-year timeline approved in advance of Trump’s May summit with NATO allies.

But instead, the sources said, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson teamed up with Mattis to block McMaster’s initial version, which they believed Trump and political advisers wary of the war, notably chief strategist Steve Bannon, would not support without clearer markers of success. “Tillerson says, ‘I’m not selling this to the president,’” a senior administration official who was present recalled. “They believed McMaster was not reading the West Wing very well,” added another former senior U.S. official briefed on the process…..

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image…foreignpolicy.com

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The US Navy launches it’s newest Aircraft Carrier…The USS Gerald Ford…

While the media focused on Trump ‘s asking the sailors on board the launch to help HIM out on the budget?….

The fact is the Billion dollar ship (we the taxpayer paid for) CVN-78,  is a showcase for military technology …..

USS Gerald R. Ford Begins Builder's Sea Trials

The U.S. Navy on Saturday with the help of President Donald Trumpcommissioned its most powerful warship yet: the USS Gerald Ford.

The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is rigged with state-of-the-art technology with a capacity for more aircraft and weaponry than ever before.

It features an electromagnetic launch system and advanced arresting gear for faster and more efficient take-offs and landings. The vessel is outfitted with touchscreen navigation display in place of a traditional throttle and is equipped with a reactor plant that can power the ship for up to 20 years without refueling.

The USS Ford is also massive, with its length of 1,106-feet comparing to the size of about three football fields. The extra room allows for an expanded flight deck that’s easier for jets and drones to maneuver around. Additionally, it features a better-positioned “island” structure, giving the captain of the ship improved visibility.

More than double the electrical capacity and automated equipment means the ship can sail more efficiently with at least 600 less crew members. Once officially deployed in 2020, it will house 2,600 sailors, which the Navy says will save more than $4 billion over the ship’s 50-year lifespan,according to the Associated Press…..

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image…APRIL 8: In this handout photo provided by the U.S. Navy, the future USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) is seen underway on its own power for the first time  U.S. Navy Getty Images

Tech look….

Image result for USS Gerald Ford

image….businessinsider

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Barack Obama holds his own….

For eight years Republicans vowed to get rid of the Affordable Healthcare Law they dubbed ‘Obamacare’….(Trump now wants to also)

They haven’t…

President Obama got a deal with Iran to halt their nuclear weapons program…

Trump and some Republicans vowed to get rid of it…

They didn’t….

Image result for Obama/trump

Obama worked to strengthen NATO….

Trump said he wanted more money before he stood by the alliance …

He’s hanging in there…

Barack Obama has to be wearing a little smile these days….

Determined to dismantle his predecessor’s legacy, Mr. Trump in the space of a couple of hours this week reluctantly agreed to preserve President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran and failed in his effort to repeal Mr. Obama’s health care program.

The back-to-back events highlighted the challenge for a career developer whose main goal since taking office six months ago has been to raze what he sees as the poorly constructed edifices he inherited. Mr. Trump has gone a long way toward that objective through executive action, but now faces the reality that Mr. Obama’s most prominent domestic and international accomplishments remain intact.

In neither case has Mr. Trump given up. He instructed his national security team to keep rethinking the approach to Iran with a view toward either revising or scrapping the nuclear agreement. And by the end of the day he was vowing to let Mr. Obama’s health care program collapse.

“We will return!” Mr. Trump tweeted Tuesday morning about the collapse of his health care effort.

Yet there is little appetite among the United States’ partners to revisit the Iran deal, nor is there much eagerness among lawmakers to cancel the existing health care program without a new system to install in its stead.

The latter notion seemed to die almost immediately on Tuesday on Capitol Hill, leaving the president to throw up his hands and say he would simply let Mr. Obama’s program collapse of its own weight. “I’m not going to own it,” he told reporters. “I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it. We’ll let Obamacare fail, and then the Democrats are going to come to us.”

Nearly every president arrives in office promising a new direction, especially those succeeding someone from the other party. But few, if any, have spent as much of their early months focused on undoing what the last president did rather than promoting their own proactive ideas as Mr. Trump has.

Where the president has succeeded so far in reversing the Obama legacy, it has largely been on issues where he could act on his own authority……

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image…nypost.com

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Trump Admin certifies Iran Nuke Deal compliance…AGAIN….

ANOTHER one of those campaign promises that is changed….

Reality Bites…..

President Trump agreed on Monday to certify again that Iran is complying with an international nuclear agreement that he has strongly criticized, but only after hours of arguing with his top national security advisers, briefly upending a planned announcement as a legal deadline loomed.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly condemned the deal brokered by President Barack Obama as a dangerous capitulation to Iran, but six months into his presidency he has not abandoned it. The decision on Monday was the second time his administration certified Iran’s compliance, and aides said a frustrated Mr. Trump had told his security team that he would not keep doing so indefinitely.

Administration officials announced the certification on Monday evening while emphasizing that they intended to toughen enforcement of the deal, apply new sanctions on Iran for its support of terrorism and other destabilizing activities, and negotiate with European partners to craft a broader strategy to increase pressure on Tehran. Aides said Mr. Trump had insisted on such actions before agreeing to the consensus recommendation of his national security team.

“The president has made very clear that he thought this was a bad deal — a bad deal for the United States,” Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, told reporters at a briefing on Monday before the decision was made.

By law, the administration is required to notify Congress every 90 days whether Iran is living up to the deal,….

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House getting ready to forward a massive spending bill they know won’t fly….

The object is to let their members get a chance to include amendments that are their dream requests….

Trouble is?

Doing THAT means the entire bill package will never pass the Senate ….And THAT means ANOTHER piece of legislation that goes nowhere from a Congress that is specializing in such….

Oh, and there STILL is a sequester against a budge over spending ceiling t in effect….

House GOP leaders will decide next week whether to brave an ugly floor fight over a massive GOP spending bill — a proposal applauded by some rank-and-file Republicans but that risks embarrassment if it fails.

In a closed-door GOP conference meeting Friday morning, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said all 12 appropriations bills will be finished in committee by the end of next week. Starting Monday, leadership will begin a tentative whip count on whether lawmakers would vote for a package before the August recess that combines all of those bills into one $1 trillion government funding bill.

The idea, first proposed by Rep. Tom Graves, a senior appropriator, is to give House Republicans a chance to pass a red-meat spending bill that will lay out GOP priorities. Though the bill would never pass the Senate in the face of Democratic opposition, the process would allow House Republicans to offer potentially hundreds of amendments, an exercise that excites members who are frustrated that they’ve had no input on how to fund the government.

“It’s actually been the consensus of the conference to get all this done before August,” Graves (R-Ga.) said upon emerging from conference Friday, optimistic that his idea will take. “We’re here to get our job done, and I’ll tell you, members are excited about the opportunity to put our priorities forward and advance it to the floor.

The strategy could open something of a Pandora’s box, however. Lawmakers would be required to vote on controversial amendments that could be used against them in their districts, from provisions on the Confederate flag to gay rights proposals that put them in bind. Democratic amendments chiding the administration for the Russia controversy are almost assured.

Perhaps more worrisome: The bill might fail on the floor, which would provoke another flood of damaging headlines about the GOP’s deep divisions and inability govern…..

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$696.5B Defense Bill passes the House…..

The bill is tens of billions over Congress’s OWN budget cap….

The bill would authorize $621.5 billion for the Pentagon’s base budget and Energy Department nuclear programs and $75 billion for war funding, known as the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account. In addition, the bill takes $10 billion in OCO dollars to pay for base budget needs.

Only eight Republicans voted against the legislation, which passes Trump’s defense request of $603 billion. Reps. Justin Amash (Mich.), John Duncan (Tenn.), Tom Garret (Ga.), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Morgan Griffith (Va.), Andy Harris (Md.), Thomas Massie (Ky.) and Tom McClintock (Calif.) were the Republicans voting no.

The bill has a few roadblocks ahead of it, with the biggest issue in the form of spending caps as stipulated by the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA). That act sets the Pentagon base budget as no higher than $549 billion. Lawmakers must either repeal the BCA or increase its budget caps.

Democrats pushed for the latter solution on the House floor prior to the bill passing.

House Armed Services Committee ranking member Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said it is “very possible that $72 billion of what is in this bill is going to disappear between now and the end of this year unless we address the broader issue of sequestration and budget caps.”

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Trump HAS stuck with Obama’s Nuclear deal with Iran….

In an example of ANOTHER break with his misguided campaign promises…..

The Trump Administration has continued the Obama administration sanctions against Iran , which is abiding by the terms of the deal….It has also certified to Congress that Iran is doing what it promised ….

Wednesday [ 5/17/17] was the deadline for the Trump administration to extend sanctions relief for Iran, which must be renewed every 120 days.

Since Trump took office, his advisors have warned him that pulling out of the nuclear deal was more complicated and less advisable than he had indicated during last year’s campaign.

The United Nations nuclear watchdog agency, which is charged with monitoring Iran’s compliance, says that the accord is working so far and that nuclear activity is controlled.

Supporters of the deal argue that if the United States pulls out, it would be in violation of the U.N. Security Council resolution that approved the accord and that Iran would have a justification for resuming its nuclear program.

Under the deal, which was negotiated by the U.S. and five other world powers, key sanctions on Iran’s economy were lifted, allowing it to sell oil on the open market, join global financial systems and do business with once-proscribed nations.

Although it is leaving those concessions in place, the Trump administration is insisting it will take other punitive actions.

“This ongoing review does not diminish the United States’ resolve to continue countering Iran’s destabilizing activity in the region,” Stuart Jones, acting assistant secretary of State for Near Eastern affairs, said Wednesday.

That includes Iran’s backing of Syrian President Bashar Assad  in that country’s civil war and its support for militant organizations such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthi rebels of Yemen.

Officials said the Treasury Department put new sanctions on seven targets involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program, which was not covered in the nuclear deal…..

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A separate US Space Corps Command in the US Military?

Unlikely…..

Some are pushing for it….

But the Air Force, where the command would be, doesn’t want it….

(It actually existed from 1985 to 2002…)

Look past whether a proposed U.S. “Space Corps” — which survived the House version of the fiscal 2018 National Defense Authorization Act late Wednesday — eventually becomes a fully functional military branch, a US Air Force general said Thursday.

What’s more important is the fact that the military and Congress are working to get more focus and resources for the space domain, which has been growing more contested for years, said Brig. Gen. Mark A. Baird, director for space programs at the Air Force’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Acquisition.

It’s “a good sign because people are now focusing on this problem that we have that we are recognizing across all sectors of the government, that we need to be ready and we need to be poised and postured and budgets need to be put in place to make the right changes so that we protect the nation,” he said.

“The organizational ‘what boxes go where’ — that’s going to be decided and debated … but I’m excited to see we have so much focus on, ‘We have got to address this issue coming up,’ ” Baird said at the Defense One Tech Summit in Washington, D.C.

He added, “I’ll salute and drive on whatever they go tell us to go do, but at least the focus is what’s exciting … on this issue.”

Opponents to the proposed Space Corps, such as Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, lost their argument late Wednesday after the House Rules Committee struck down an amendment to study the language further. In June, the House Armed Services Committee voted 60-1 to move forward with a separate Space Corps branch within the FY18 NDAA.

However, the proposal may not see the light of day in the Senate, where lawmakers aren’t as eager to push it through…..

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The Republican led Congress has a LOT on its plate….

And is unlikely to get ALL of it done….

Healthcare…..

Tax Reform….

Budget….

Debt Ceiling….

Sanctions…

“Our current Senate calendar shows only 33 potential working days remaining before the end of the fiscal year,” a group of 10 Republican senators wrote on Friday in a letter to Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, highlighting the deadline at the end of September. “This does not appear to give us enough time to adequately address the issues that demand immediate attention.”

The Republican Party is under intense pressure to achieve something of consequence in that limited time in order to legitimately claim that the first year of the Trump administration has been a success. So far, the ambitious agenda has stagnated without a signature achievement. President Trump’s unpredictability has only made matters more complicated.

The first order of business when lawmakers return remains reaching a swift conclusion to the debate over how to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, an ambition that has bedeviled Republicans since Mr. Trump entered the White House. The grappling over how to proceed has laid bare deep divisions within the party and stalled progress for the next items on the agenda, a federal budget deal and a tax overhaul. A vote on health care could drag on until mid-July or later depending on when Senate Republicans deliver a new bill to the Congressional Budget Office for scoring.

The straggling health bill has backed up other major priorities, setting the stage for a government shutdown or even a default in the fall if the debt ceiling is not raised in time…..

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There WILL be another ‘Top Gun’ Movie from Tom Cruise …

Image result for Top Gun 2 movie

It will be called ‘Top’ Gun: Marverick’  indicated the star….

Although Paramount listed the title simply as “Top Gun,” on Friday, June 30, Cruise has previously said that the long-awaited sequel will be titled Top Gun: Maverick. “It’s not going to be called ‘Top Gun 2,’” the actor, 54, told Access Hollywood in June. “I didn’t want a number. You don’t need a number.”

Cruise went on to explain that the sequel will feel similar to fans of the 1986 classic, which also starred Kelly McGillis, Anthony Edwards, Meg Ryan and Val Kilmer.“We’re going to have the same tone that we had from the first,” he said. “Stylistically, it’s going to be the same.”

Cruise will be reprising his role as aviator Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in the modern world of drone technology. “When you look at the world of dogfighting, what’s interesting about it is that it’s not a world that exists to the same degree when the original movie came out. This world has not been explored,” Skydance CEO David Ellison told Collider of the film in 2015. “It’s really exploring the end of an era of dogfighting and fighter pilots and what that culture is today are all fun things that we’re gonna get to dive into in this movie.”…

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image..fandango.com

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US warns Syria against using chemical weapons…Again…

The Trump Admin has warned of military action again it there is a chemical/gas attack by the Syrian military against opposition troops and civilians….

The White House issued a stern warning to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday night as it claimed ‘‘potential’’ evidence that Syria was preparing for another chemical weapons attack.

In an ominous statement issued with no supporting evidence or further explanation, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the US ‘‘has identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children.’’

He said the activities were similar to preparations taken before an April 2017 attack that killed dozens of men, women and children, and warned that if ‘‘Mr. Assad conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price.’’….

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Obama goes public in knocking Senate Healthcare bill proposal…

The former President has asked members of Congress to exhibit courage in pushing back against Republican ‘meaness’ in efforts to take away coverage for ten’s of millions of Americans….

Barack Obama sharply condemned the healthcare plan unveiled by Senate Republicans on Thursday as a “massive transfer of wealth” to the rich, at the expense of poor and middle-class Americans.

In a Facebook post hours after the Republican bill was made public, the former president made some of his most pointed comments since leaving office in defense of what remains the most signature accomplishment of his two terms.

“The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a healthcare bill,” Obama wrote. “It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America.”

“Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family, this bill will do you harm,” he added, while highlighting some of the more contentious provisions within the legislation, such as tax breaks to top earners and drug and insurance companies, and the potential gutting of coverage for pre-existing conditions, pregnancy and mental health.

“Small tweaks over the course of the next couple of weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation.”

Obama has largely kept out of the political fray since his departure from the White House – weighing in on just a handful of Donald Trump’s actions through written statements, such as his successor’s travel ban on refugees and several Muslim-majority countries, and the decision to withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord.

But Obama’s personal stake in the healthcare debate, and his concern that Trump and Republicans will dismantle the Affordable Care Act, has transcended the other matters that have dominated Washington under the new administration….

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Defense Sec Mattis wants to try to win the Afghan War….

The Russians didn’t….

We Americans’s didn’t…..

Defense Sec Mattis is getting ready for another try….

Image result for afghan war America

Defense Secretary James Mattis may now possess the power to determine U.S. troop levels for the conflict, but that does not mean he has yet built the buy-in inside the administration to do so.

“Together in the interagency, we will define the way ahead and I will set the U.S. military commitment, consistent with the commander in chief strategic direction and the foreign policy as dictated by Secretary of State Tillerson,” Mattis told lawmakers in the Senate Appropriations Committee, on Wednesday.

The new argument in favor of continuing America’s commitment to its longest war, it turns out, is a lot like the old one. In fact, Mattis said so.

“Our primary national interest and the international interest in Afghanistan is ensuring it does not become an ungoverned space from which attacks can be launched against the United States, other nations or the Afghan people,” he said. “Our overall mission Afghanistan remains the same: to train, advise, and assist the Afghan forces so they can safeguard the Afghan people and terrorists can find no haven in Afghanistan for attacking us or others.”

Yet just because Mattis has the authority doesn’t mean he and his team yet have built a plan for how many additional troops will head to Afghanistan — if any. A team at the Pentagon is now working hard to develop a proposal that will win support across the Trump administration, including at the State Department and the National Security Council, headed by Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster. But Mattis also must win over those inside the administration who, like some in the Obama administration, are wary about increasing America’s troops (and financial) commitment to a war now well into its second decade, described as a “stalemate” by U.S.commanders and a “quagmire” in less-diplomatic military halls….

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Note….

Mattis is reported to be getting ready to send 4,000 More troops to fight in the renewed Afghan War….

image…atlanticsentinel.com

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DHS Head Kelly embraces Trump Immigration policy leaving Democrats unhappy….

Defense Sec Mattis has held on to HIS basic feeling on policy after 6 months on the job …

That has meant that on several issues he has held steady and changed his bosses utterances to a more moderate policy position ….

That has not been the ca for DHS Chief Joh  Kelly several Democrat Senators have come to feel….

While Democrats who voted for his confirmation THOUGHT he would find a middle ground between Trump/Conservative Republics and Obama’s policy on handling undocumented person’s?….Under Kelly there have been even more deportations that under Obama , who order record numbers until last year….

Today, it’s tough to find anyone on the left willing to defend Kelly. He has alienated potential allies on Capitol Hill, including Democrats who voted to confirm him, and is endangering his reputation as a nonpartisan figure in a presidential administration that has relatively few.

“I think Secretary Kelly has drank the Kool-Aid,” said Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, who was among the Democrats who voted to confirm Kelly in January. “He’s not the person who I thought I was voting for.”

Kelly, a blunt-spoken Boston native, is the former commander of U.S. Southern Command. That gave him a close-up view of border security issues in the Southern Hemisphere, including problems with drug trafficking and illegal immigration. The Senate confirmed him 88-11.

One reason so many Democrats supported Kelly, 67, was because he indicated he would not target people enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, a 2012 program put into effect by President Barack Obama to give work permits to young undocumented immigrants and protect them from deportation.

The program has not been canceled by the president, but there have been several reports of DACA recipients being detained or deported, undermining Kelly’s standing among Democrats and pro-immigration activists.

The secretary, who was retired from the Marines for less than a year before being tapped for Trump’s Cabinet, has repeatedly declared that his agency is targeting undocumented immigrants with criminal backgrounds for removal from the United States. But he has moved away from an Obama administration policy that prioritized deporting those with serious criminal records and offered relief to lower-level offenders…..

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