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DHS nominee: Border wall alone 'will not do the job'

DHS nominee: Border wall alone 'will not do the job'
© Greg Nash

During his Tuesday confirmation hearing, retired Gen. John F. Kelly, President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 MORE's pick for secretary of Homeland Security, said of the proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall that "a physical barrier in and of itself will not do the job."

Kelly emphasized to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs that the brunt of the work keeping the U.S. safe from national security threats needs to be handled by agents on the ground and better technology. 

His comments came during his first round of confirmation questions, conducted by Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainCindy McCain planning 'intimate memoir' of life with John McCain Trump-McConnell rift divides GOP donors Arkansas state senator says he's leaving Republican Party MORE (R-Ariz.). McCain asked Kelly if he agreed with his position that "building a wall is not the way to keep out drugs or people."

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Kelly's remarks downplay what had been a key initiative in Trump's immigration policy and a cornerstone of his campaign — a wall on the southern border to stem the flow of illegal immigration and drugs.