DHS Chief Sees Signs of Success in Getting Countries to Take Back Illegals

WASHINGTON TIMES — Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said he’s seen some signs of progress in getting other countries to take their illegal immigrants back when the U.S. tries to deport them, and signaled he’d wait to see how those efforts play out before he’ll commit to stripping visas from those that still refuse.

He’s bucking bipartisan pressure from Capitol Hill where lawmakers, spurred by several high-profile cases, say the U.S. has been woefully reluctant to play hardball with other countries — leaving their criminals on the streets here, where they’ve gone on to kill Americans.

Mr. Johnson, attending a breakfast with reporters hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, also said he’s on track to meet President Obama’s goal of accepting 10,000 Syrian refugees this year, defended his department’s treatment of illegal immigrants from Central America, and said that as long as they aren’t endangering the candidates, his Secret Service agents shouldn’t be policing the press covering presidential campaigns.

He said it’s too early to determine who was responsible for the hack of the Democratic National Committee’s emails, which have embarrassed party officials in recent weeks — but said the growing potential for cybersecurity problems means it may be necessary to designate elections as “critical infrastructure,” which would invoke a more active role for the department in promoting security.

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