Trump's Homeland Security chief just made some hugely contradictory statements about deportations

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Someone should tell Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly about the immigration policies he's actually enacting, because he sure doesn't seem to understand them.

Speaking at a high-level summit between himself, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and their Mexican counterparts on Thursday, Kelly vowed that there would be no "mass deportations" of undocumented immigrants.

That might be news to the John Kelly who, just days earlier, signed off on a set of guidelines which dramatically expanded the number of undocumented people the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency is now targeting for apprehension and deportation.


Those guidelines also include the hiring of an additional 10,000 ICE agents, and clear the way for local law enforcement officials to augment the federal government's deportation work.

It might also be news to Donald Trump, who repeatedly promised to create a "deportation force" during his presidential campaign. The LA Times has estimated that Trump's deportation policies could affect nearly eight million people.


With that in mind, it's unclear whether Kelly spoke out of turn today, or simply provided rhetorical cover for the Administration's ongoing crackdown on immigrant communities remains. What's clear, however, is that he and President Trump are probably going to have an uncomfortable conversation in the coming days.

Kelly and Trump also seemingly contradicted each other on the question of military involvement in deportations.


On Thursday afternoon, during a rambling speech about his newly enacted immigration policies delivered to a roomful of manufacturing CEOs, Trump described the deportation of "bad dudes" out of the United States as a "military operation."

This is notable. Trump: “We're getting really bad dudes out of this country … it's a military operation.”

A military operation.

— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) February 23, 2017

Just hours later, Kelly stated that, "no—repeat, no—use of military force in immigration operations" would take place.

WATCH: There will be no use of military force in immigration operations - DHS chief Kelly.

— Reuters Live (@ReutersLive) February 23, 2017

Press Secretary Sean Spicer later told reporters that Trump was using military as an "adjective."