Homeland Security chief backtracks on splitting families

"It is unlikely that we will build a wall, a physical barrier, from sea to shining sea", said DHS Secretary John Kelly in a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee hearing on improving border security and public safety.

Days after taking office in January, Trump signed an executive order to get the ball rolling on his long-promised border wall and ordered the Homeland Security Department to ramp up enforcement of federal immigration laws.

The bids did not answer the biggest question around the project - the cost, estimated by Trump's team at $12 billion and Homeland Security at $21 billion, though no one knows for certain the eventual price tag.

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"It is unlikely that we will build a wall, a physical barrier, from sea to shining sea", said the retired general in his appearance before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, paraphrasing the lyrics of "America the handsome".

"The barriers work", Kelly said. "But we'll do something across the Southwest border".

The movement across the border usually increases after winter, the BBC wrote, noting that the numbers presented by Kelly show a reversal in that trend.

That's the case for Pat Bell of River Bend, a Trump supporter who never backed the president's border wall and may hire a lawyer to fight his administration.

Kelly announced a dramatic decline in illegal border crossings, saying that the tough talk about the wall was having a deterrence effect.

1 person dead after shooting near mall in South Florida
The scene is now secure, according to the Miami Dade Police Department, but the stores at the mall will remain closed. The mall was on lockdown for a time until police secured the scene.

"This has happened before when - as it relates especially to immigration - when the United States stands strong and takes certain actions", Aguilar said.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), for example, told Kelly that many senators are not going to approve building a concrete southern border wall "from sea to shining sea" when they don't really know what they're getting into financially.

Companies throwing their hat into the ring must have worked on border security within the past five years with a cost of $25 million or more. It appears that the only person who doesn't know it is the president of the United States.

April 6, 2017- The number of people arrested crossing the Mexico border into the U.S. has fallen to the lowest level in 17 years.

Kelly has said his agency is considering separating parents and children as a way to dissuade parents from making the trek from Central America.

News of the dramatic decrease in arrests comes on the same day that proposals for Trump's border wall were due to the government.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement that it would pick multiple contractors to build prototypes by around June 1 and will name only the winning bidders.

"The absolutely great news story in the northern border is that we have Canada there, that it's a friend and ally". And if Trump won, they should rush north before he could build a border wall.

  • Megan Austin