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Homeland Security chief says 'confusion' spurred by the Trump administration is stemming illegal immigration

 (Associated Press)
(Associated Press)

Tough rhetoric from the Trump administration has injected "confusion" into those who are considering crossing illegally into the United States and made them abandon their travel plans, a senior official said Sunday.

John Kelly, Trump's secretary of Homeland Security, said President Trump's talk and actions have helped push illegal border crossings from Mexico to an all-time low. (In fact, illegal migration from Mexico has been declining for many years.)

"The attention being paid to the border certainly has injected into those people ... enough confusion in their minds," Kelly said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"The very, very, very good news is, for a lot of different reasons, the number of illegal aliens that are moving up from the south has dropped off precipitously."

Trump has vowed to deport millions of people in the country illegally and build a wall on the United States' border with Mexico to keep them out.

"The laws on the books are pretty straightforward: If you're here illegally, you should leave or you should be deported, put through the system," Kelly said.

Last week, Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions, on a tour of the border, announced orders to law enforcement officials to crack down harder on immigrants who cross into the United States illegally multiple times. Some cities, including several in California, have declared themselves sanctuaries and say they will refuse to enforce federal laws that target immigrants in the country illegally.

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