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On Tuesday, Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly promised to use marijuana as a justification for deporting illegal immigrants, calling it a “gateway drug.”

“Let me be clear about marijuana. It is a potentially dangerous gateway drug that frequently leads to the use of harder drugs,” he said during a speech at George Washington University. “Its use and possession is against federal law and until that law is changed by the United States Congress we at DHS along with the rest of the federal government are sworn to uphold all the laws that are on the books.”

He went on to say that as there is a crackdown on illegal immigration by the Trump administration, Immigration & Customs Enforcement may use marijuana as a justification for going after those immigrants who have not committed harder crimes and who were largely left to live their lives by the previous administration.

“ICE will continue to use marijuana possession, distribution and convictions as essential elements as they build their deportation removal apprehension packages for targeted operations against illegal aliens living in the United States. They have done this in the past, are doing it today, and will do it in the future,” he said.

Then, speaking to the criticism that has been aimed against him and his department for reports of increased raids and deportation, Kelly said, “If lawmakers do not like the laws they’ve passed and we are charged to enforce, then they should have the courage and skill to change the laws. Otherwise they should shut up and support the men and women on the front lines.”

 

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