Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Attorney General Jeff Sessions insisted they are both committed to a permanent solution to illegal immigration.
The two are touring the nation's border in El Paso, Texas on Friday before heading to San Diego, Calif. There, they've found that border security personnel are committed to their jobs.
"The thing that struck me right away as the Department of Homeland Security secretary, people who are on the border are motivated to do the job they were hired to do," Kelly told Fox News' "Happening Now" program. "What really surprised me as their relationship with their counterparts on the Mexican side. Very positive."
Kelly said that local mayors along the border are also supportive of keeping people or contraband from crossing the border illegally.
"And in the mayor's case, and in the community's case, they don't want any type of impeding of legal movement north and south," Kelly said. "Of course, we are focused entirely on illegal movement. In fact, if anything, we want to defend the border down here for legal movement and things."
Sessions and Kelly were described in a recent Daily Beast piece as being a "good cop, bad cop" pair when it comes to immigration, noted show anchor Jon Scott, but Sessions said they "absolutely" are on the same page when it comes to handling the nation's southern border.
"We do want to treat people who come here illegally fairly and decently, but we do admit 1.1 million each year, the lawful permanent residents," Sessions said. "No nation in the world comes close to that."
He continued that people often ask them if they are going to end the lawlessness and create a system to be proud of, and he insisted that is happening.
"I knew with a good strong president and a good strong Homeland Security secretary we would make progress, but I didn't know to be as great as it has been," Sessions said. " We still have much more to go. We want a permanent solution that's lawful and we can be proud of. We can get there. We need a wall, we need some more agents for our border control. We're going to get that done and will continue to see progress, I truly believe."
Meanwhile, the wall at the border has not yet been completed, but border arrests are down, and Kelly said it's because the new view of border security has caught the attention of other countries, primarily in Central America.
"We are enforcing a much wider range of immigration laws and we've enforced in the last eight years," Kelly said. "The people are taking a wait and see attitude. We are working with the governments and religious leaders in the local human rights leaders down in central America."
The pair, also appearing on MSNBC Friday, made further comments about sanctuary cities and about the deportation of "dreamer" Juan Montes.
Sessions told the program that the Trump administration believes cities have a responsibility to report when an illegal immigrant is arrested on criminal charges, and he thinks it is "unthinkable that a city would not want to remove individuals" who have committed serious crimes.
"It is not a question of, you can't do it," said Sessions. "Most cities are doing it and are cooperating. We're pleading with the cities. Let's don’t have a fight over this. Let's rethink it, see if you can't fulfill the requirements of really good law enforcement and let's work together."
Meanwhile, Montes, 23, was deported to Mexico and is suing for information in his case, but Kelly said no mistake was made when deporting him.
"By his irresponsible behavior, breaking the law, by definition, he no longer was covered by DACA," Kelly said. "He was deported, quite rightly, because he had, by his behavior, criminal behavior in some cases, had lost DACA status, simple as that."
Kelly said Montes was convicted of theft and went into Mexico illegally "and then we caught him coming back in. That's a felony."
The young man also had a series of driving violations, but the the big news is that "he did not have DACA status by his own actions and he was deported."
Sessions also commented on the news that the United States will seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
The Justice Department has prepared charges against Assange for his 2010 leaks of classified information that had been stolen by a former U.S. Army intelligence analyst, Chelsea Manning, the officials told CNN.
Justice Department could undertake a criminal prosecution of WikiLeaks or its founder, Julian Assange, saying that too many damaging leaks have happened, and it's his responsibility to try to find out who is violating the laws.
Sessions wouldn't comment directly about the investigation, but he does feel strongly that there have been far too many damaging leaks released.
"I have part of the responsibility to try and identify anybody who violates our laws and you can be sure we'll do that," Sessions said. "It's going to be a top priority and will fulfill our responsibility. "
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