Kelly: Vast majority of immigrants here illegally 'don't have skills'

White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE claims in a new interview that a vast majority of immigrants in the United States illegally “don’t have skills” and would not “integrate well” into American society. 

Kelly made the comment in an interview with NPR’s “Morning Edition” when asked about the Department of Justice’s new “zero-tolerance” policy, which calls for separating more immigrant children from their parents, among other things.

“The vast majority of the people that move illegally into United States are not bad people. They're not criminals. They're not MS-13,” Kelly said in the interview. “But they're also not people that would easily assimilate into the United States, into our modern society. They're overwhelmingly rural people.”

“In the countries they come from, fourth-, fifth-, sixth-grade educations are kind of the norm,” he continued. “They don't speak English; obviously that's a big thing. ... They don't integrate well, they don't have skills.”


Kelly added that while he sympathizes with immigrants’ reasoning for wanting to come to the U.S., “the laws are the laws.” He also said that the zero-tolerance policy “is a technique that no one hopes will be used extensively or for very long.”

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsPress: For Trump endorsement: The more sordid, the better Those predicting Facebook's demise are blowing smoke If bitcoin is 'digital gold,' it should be taxed like gold MORE announced the policy, which comes in response to a reported increase in illegal border crossings, in a memo last month, and officially enacted it earlier this week.

“If you cross the border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. It’s that simple,” Sessions said during a press conference at the U.S.-Mexico border. “If you smuggle illegal aliens across our border, then we will prosecute you. If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you. And that child may be separated from you, as required by law.”