Dem lawmaker: Kelly is a 'disgrace to uniform'

Democratic Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) on Tuesday issued an unusually personal rebuke of White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, suggesting the retired Marine general has tainted his military service by working in the administration as President Trump ends a program shielding young immigrants from deportation.

"General Kelly is a hypocrite who is a disgrace to the uniform he used to wear. He has no honor and should be drummed out of the White House along with the white supremacists and those enabling the President’s actions by ‘just following orders,' " Gutiérrez said in a scathing statement, shortly after Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsThe Hill’s 12:30 Report — Kavanaugh accuser willing to testify | Kavanaugh denies allegations, says he’s willing to testify | 50 days from the midterms Ken Starr backs Mueller, says president 'must be held accountable' The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil MORE announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration policy will be phased out. 

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The Congressional Hispanic Caucus member claimed Kelly backed out of a commitment to protect DACA recipients, who were brought to the United States illegally as children, from deportation while serving as the Homeland Security secretary. 

“General Kelly, when he was the head of Homeland Security, lied straight to the faces of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus about preventing the mass deportation of DREAMers. Now as Chief of Staff, this former general is executing the plan to take away their lifeline and taking steps to criminalize young people who live and work here legally," he said.

DACA is an Obama-era policy that protects from deportation almost 800,000 people who were brought to the country illegally as minors and sought work permits.

The Illinois lawmaker threatened to withhold his support from any legislation that fails to include protections for DACA recipients, calling the reversal a step in the "wrong direction."  

“I personally will not support any funding bill that does not include a safe harbor for DREAMers — and I will work to have others join me in opposition. If they need our votes, we are bringing 800,000 young immigrants with us," Gutiérrez continued.

Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have urged Trump to amend the program, rather than do away with it entirely. In a tweet, Trump said Tuesday that the issue will now need to be resolved in Congress.