US Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly has pledged that the military would not be used to expel undocumented immigrants from America, a media report said.

Speaking in Mexico City on Thursday, Kelly pledged that the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) sweeping new immigration enforcement rules would not result in “mass deportations”, The Hill magazine reported

“Let me be very, very clear… there will be no, repeat no, mass deportations,” he said.

“Everything we do in DHS will be done legally and according to human rights and the legal justice system of the US.”

The comments came just hours after President Donald Trump called the new deportation push a “military operation”, which threatened to heighten the concerns of immigrant-rights groups and the Mexican government.

“There will be no use of military force in immigration,” Kelly added.

Earlier on Thursday, Trump sowed confusion over the military’s role with his remarks earlier at the White House, the magazine said.

“We’re getting really bad dudes out of this country,” he said at a meeting with manufacturing CEOs. “And at a rate nobody has ever seen before. And they’re the bad ones. And it’s a military operation.”

Kelly and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday met top Mexican officials in order to smooth over tensions that were exacerbated by the new immigration policies.

First Published | 24 February 2017 2:58 PM
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