• Press Release

Homeland Security Pick Must Commit to Human Rights

December 7, 2016

MEDIA CONTACT: Mandy Simon, [email protected]

(NEW YORK, NY) – Responding to reports that President-elect Donald Trump intends to nominate Gen. John Kelly to serve as Secretary of Homeland Security, Margaret Huang, executive director for Amnesty International USA released the following statement:

“We have serious concerns about the homeland security proposals President-elect Trump has made. The Secretary of Homeland Security is a critical position affecting millions of people’s human rights, including refugees and groups targeted by national security programs. Gen. Kelly must fully commit to respecting the human rights of all people.

“The security policies President-elect Trump has previously proposed, including creating a Muslim registry and blocking Syrian refugees from entering the country, fly in the face of this country’s obligations under international and U.S. law. Whoever runs DHS should not turn this country's massive surveillance power against ordinary people in the name of preventing terrorism.

“The bigotry behind these proposals recalls the worst chapters of U.S. history. Homeland security programs should not paint individuals’ national origin or religion as suspicious. Fear and hate do not make Americans safer.

“We’re particularly concerned that while chief of U.S. Southern Command, Kelly oversaw Guantánamo during periods of extensive hunger strikes and forced-feeding that was unsafe and inhumane. Kelly must make clear that filling Guantánamo with new detainees, including American citizens, is not an option he would pursue or accept.”