An Illinois congressman blasted White House Chief of Staff John Kelly — a retired Marine Corps general and Gold Star father — as a “disgrace to the uniform” Tuesday after the Trump administration announced the dismantling of the DACA program.
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) was created by former President Barack Obama by executive action in 2012.The program gives hundreds of thousands of young people brought to the country as children protection from deportation and allows them to work in the U.S.
The Washington Examiner reported that U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a Democrat, took personal aim at Kelly because Kelly once reportedly spoke favorably about the program. House members reported in July that Kelly told Latino lawmakers in a closed-door meeting that he was supportive of the program, but pointed out that it was probably illegal.
“He’s personally for it. He thinks it will not hold up, according to the attorneys he’s spoken with,” Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, told the Associated Press at the time. “He was challenged by those of us in the room, by lawmakers, to publicly announce his own position and to be a leader and to stand up and defend DACA. He said he would consider it.”
Gutierrez also said, after the July meeting, that Kelly, who previously headed the Department of Homeland Security, took credit for keeping the program alive for so long since Trump took office.
Gutierrez changed his tune after the Trump administration’s Tuesday announcement.
“General Kelly is a hypocrite who is a disgrace to the uniform he used to wear,” the congressman said in a statement.
“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,” Gutierrez also said. “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.'”
The Examiner reported that Kelly is a retired four-star general and Gold Star father. One of his sons died in Afghanistan.