White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has defended the Trump administration’s harsh policies against undocumented immigrants by claiming most of those seeking to illegally cross the U.S. border are “rural people” with limited skills. In an interview with NPR due to air on Friday’s Morning Edition, Kelly said the “vast majority” of undocumented immigrants are “not bad people” or criminals who belong to the MS-13 street gang, a narrative often pushed by President Trump himself. But they are also “not people that would easily assimilate into the United States into our modern society,” according to Kelly, the former Homeland Security secretary. “They’re overwhelmingly rural people. In the countries they come from, fourth-, fifth-, sixth-grade educations are kind of the norm. They don’t speak English; obviously that’s a big thing... They don’t integrate well; they don’t have skills,” he was quoted as saying. His comments come three days after the Trump administration vowed to separate families caught illegally crossing the U.S. border as part of a strict new “zero-tolerance” policy.
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