Gov. John Kasich of Ohio on Monday slammed President Donald Trump's administration for implementing what the homeland security secretary has referred to as "knock-and-talks" carried out by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.
"It's terrible," he said in describing one of the Trump administration's early actions with which he strongly disagreed.
"There are some things going on that I really don't like at all, like ICE agents yanking people out of their homes," Kasich said.
The one-time 2016 Republican presidential hopeful pointed to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly's interview Sunday on CBS' "Face the Nation," a program on which Kasich was also a guest.
In that interview, Kelly described the knock-and-talks being carried out by ICE agents.
"The way we're doing our business is that the ICE officials will establish or will go after targeted individuals, develop target packages and then go after them," he said. "Now, if people who are here illegally fall into our hands incidental to those knock-and-talks — as an example, just the other day, I was talking to some ICE agents up in El Paso, and they said, typically, when they go into these homes or these places looking for the person that they targeted, there will oftentimes be five, six, seven other people.
"In the course, by the way they do their jobs, they then ask those people who they are, and if they can't produce some form of proof that they're here legally or that they’re US citizens, then they could be taken into custody," he continued. "So, as police officers, they simply can't turn a blind eye to the lawbreakers. In every case, we're targeting people who are here, A, illegally and, B, have broken other laws."
Kasich expressed astonishment at Kelly's remarks.
"Knock-and-talk in America?" he asked. "So if we knock and we talk to them and we find out they're here illegally, they're criminals? They've got to go? We 'can't turn a blind eye?' Really? Knock-and-talk? Anyway. I don't like knock-and-talk. I'm against knock-and-talk. I will say that clearly."
Kasich was warmer to other aspects of the Trump administration's immigration policy, such as Trump's threats to cut federal funding for so-called sanctuary cities. Kasich said he was against jurisdictions limiting their cooperation with federal immigration forces.
"I don't believe in the sanctuary cities," he said. "We have laws — you have to abide by the laws. Some people say, 'Well, people will go underground,' and all that. You can't just have people just looking the other way on everything. Now, I say knock-and-talk, you know, I'm not for knock-and-talk. But I'm also not for sanctuary cities."
Kasich's comments came as he listed what he viewed as several favorable aspects of the Trump administration's first 100 days, including the strike on a Syrian government air field and what Kasich described as "less Twitter" from the president.
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