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Former DHS Sec Says Trump’s Rhetoric ‘Scared Off’ Illegal Immigrants (VIDEO)

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Former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Thursday that President Donald Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric has caused the decrease in illegal immigration on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Johnson argued on CNN’s “New Day” that Trump’s tone toward illegal immigrants has made those in Central America and Mexico afraid to enter the U.S., and the people would rather stay in their home countries instead of risking an illegal entrance.

“Through his rhetoric, he scared off a lot of women and children in Central America who’d rather stay in their desperate circumstances or just migrate to Mexico and stop there,” Johnson said. “But these are really desperate women and children, women with babies in their arms, who are trying to flee the poverty and violence in the countries they left.”

Johnson praised his own work with the Obama administration, saying Trump should follow his model.

“So I told our immigration enforcement personnel, go after the really bad guys, go after the convicted felons,” Johnson said. “And they did that, they were doing that … that’s where I think the focus needs to be with the resources we have in immigration enforcement.”

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Johnson said the U.S. needs to enforce immigration laws more humanely and more consistently with U.S. values.

“When you enforce immigration laws, you have to be able to look yourself in the mirror, look your own family in the eye, recall the women and children who are desperate to say, ‘I did my best to enforce the law consistent with our priorities and consistent with our values,’” Johnson said, adding that he hopes the Trump administration “does not lose sight of that.”

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