Just hours soon after President Donald Trump described his new deportation policies as “a military operation,” Secretary of Homeland Safety John Kelly criticized the media for making use of that term and insisted there will be no "mass deportations."
Kelly, along with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, is in Mexico City for a brief trip, meeting with President Enrique Pena Nieto and his Cabinet amid heightened tensions over the U.S.’s new immigration policies, heated rhetoric and insistence that Mexico will pay for a border wall.
“No, repeat, no, use of military force in immigration operations. None,” stated Kelly in a short press statement alongside his Mexican counterpart. “At least half of you attempt to get that suitable for the reason that it continually comes up in the reporting.”
Earlier in the day, President Trump told reporters his administration was obtaining “gang members,” “drug lords,” and “really bad dudes out of this country” at a roundtable with manufacturing CEOs.
“We're receiving seriously bad dudes out of this nation, and at a rate that nobody's ever noticed prior to. And they are the terrible ones. And it's a military operation for the reason that what has been permitted to come into our country, when you see gang violence that you've read about like in no way before, and all of the things -- a great deal of that is men and women that are right here illegally,” he said.
White Property press secretary Sean Spicer later clarified that Trump was making use of the description "as an adjective" and that the method is "taking place with precision" and in a "streamlined manner."
Kelly also announced that there will be “no, repeat, no mass deportations” in spite of issues that new DHS memos opened the door for law enforcement to deport anybody with no legal documentation that they encounter.
“Everything we do in DHS will be accomplished legally and according to human rights and the legal justice system of the United States,” he stated.
“All of this will be performed, as it constantly is, in close coordination with the government of Mexico,” he added.
Prior to Kelly spoke, Tillerson created a rare public statement, saying he and Kelly had productive meetings with their Mexican counterparts and addressed these differences between the two neighbors.
“During the course of our meetings, we discussed the breadth of challenges and possibilities in the U.S.-Mexico partnership,” he mentioned, standing alongside Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray. “In our meetings, we jointly acknowledged that in a connection filled with vibrant colors, two robust sovereign countries from time to time will have differences."
He added: "We listened closely and carefully to each other as we respectfully and patiently raised our respective concerns.”
The amicable tone was shared by Videgaray, but he also created a point to highlight those variations.
“In a moment exactly where we have notorious differences, the finest way to resolve them is by means of dialogue,” he said.
Tillerson has been notably quiet because he was sworn in last month. The former ExxonMobil CEO has not done an interview or held a press conference, and the department has not resumed its each day briefing for reporters -- a fixture at Foggy Bottom that goes back to the Eisenhower administration -- due to the fact he took office.
The silence has generated headlines that Tillerson and the State Department have been sidelined by a White Property that has centralized energy, in particular on foreign policy decisions. Tillerson did not participate in White House meetings with foreign leaders last week. And top rated posts at the State Department have nonetheless not been filled more than a month following inauguration, which includes the secretary's deputy.
The trip abroad is the initial for Kelly and the second for Tillerson, although it is his initial a single-on-1 visit to a foreign nation -- a sign of how significant the partnership is, according to the State Division.
ABC News' Jordyn Phelps contributed to this report.
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