WASHINGTON — Under the Trump administration, immigration enforcement has changed in how they take into account levels of criminality, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said on Sunday's "Meet The Press."
He indicated that now, convictions for driving under the influence could start the process toward deportation.
"It is fair to say that the definition of criminal has not changed, but where on the spectrum of criminality we operate has changed," Kelly told host Chuck Todd.
Asked to offer an example of someone who would not be deported before who would be deported now, Kelly brought up "someone, as an example, with multiple DUIs."
"Even a single DUI, depending on other aspects, would get you into the system," he added.
Homeland Chief: 'Even a Single DUI' Could Lead to Deportation ProceedingsApril 16, 201701:02
During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump floated the idea of using a "deportation force" to remove undocumented immigrants from the country, but Kelly has pushed back on that language.
He called reports of plans to hire thousands of new ICE and border patrol agents "a law enforcement force: Men and women who will do their jobs in the future as they've done them in the past. And that is execute and uphold the nation's laws.”
In the interview, Kelly also said that a military strike from North Korea is unlikely amid growing tensions, but noted that the country is a digital danger.
"In the case of North Korea, you know, a kinetic threat (missile attack) against the United States right now I don't think is likely, but certainly a cyber-threat," he said.
"We would raise various threat levels in the event that something happened and we felt as though that there was a possible threat," he added. "You always want to caution on the side of — come down on the side of caution."