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The Senate confirmed John F. Kelly as secretary of homeland security on Friday, putting the blunt-spoken retired Marine general in charge of securing the nation’s borders, including construction of the controversial southwest border wall that was a centerpiece of President Trump’s campaign.
Senators approved Kelly’s nomination to run the Department of Homeland Security, a sprawling entity of more than 240,000 employees who do everything from protecting the president to safeguarding the nation’s electrical grid.
Kelly, who retired in February as chief of the U.S. Southern Command, is part of the first wave of Cabinet secretaries who will begin to implement the expansive plans of the nation’s 45th president.
DHS will be at the forefront of some of the most highly charged parts of that agenda, including the wall, which would be designed to keep out illegal immigrants. Kelly appeared to play down the wall’s importance at his recent confirmation hearing, telling a Senate committee that “a physical barrier in and of itself will not do the job’’ and that technology such as drones and sensors are also needed to secure the border.
For more on the DHS:
- Wikipedia: Department of Homeland Security.