The choice of Retired General John Kelly to run the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a clear indication that, under the incoming Trump administration, homeland security will actually be the primary focus of the department.

Gen. Kelly’s experience as commander of the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), as well as his combat role in the Middle East — the cradle of global jihad — provides him with firsthand knowledge of the security threats that the nation faces.

For the past eight years, the Obama administration recklessly sacrificed the department’s mission of protecting the security of Americans at home to the president’s political priorities, which included maximizing the number of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers entering the United States.

Gen. Kelly will be faced with the immediate challenge of restoring public confidence in the department’s mission and the confidence of demoralized agencies within DHS charged with protecting the security of the American people.

As former commander of SOUTHCOM, Kelly has dealt with security challenges that are exacerbated by our nation’s porous borders and by political policies that have served as an inducement for people to cross our borders illegally.

As secretary of DHS, his role will be to oversee the construction of the border security infrastructure President-elect Trump has promised to put in place, and to eliminate policies that have triggered a surge of illegal immigration across the southern border. Truly securing our borders requires that we do both.

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