(CNSNews.com) - Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that the number of illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border has “dropped off precipitously” by almost 70%.
“The very, very, very good news is, for a lot of different reasons, the number of illegal aliens that are moving up from the south has dropped off precipitously. I mean we're down 65%, 70% in the last two months. These are the months that we should see a steep incline in illegal movement. It's down, as I say, by almost 70%,” Kelly said.
“Do you think some of that's been the president's rhetoric in the campaign and basically saying, ‘Well, he won and it's going to be tougher to get across the border?’” NBC’s Chuck Todd asked.
“Well, certainly,” Kelly responded.
“Do you think that sort of contributed?” Todd asked.
“Absolutely,” Kelly said, “and some of the other things we've done on the border. I mean just my going down to the border on several occasions. You know that Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, was just down there.
“The attention being paid to the border certainly has injected into those people-- and the vast majority of them are good people from Central America, but it's injected enough confusion in their minds, I think, and they're just waiting to see what actually does happen,” Kelly added.
He said marijuana is not a factor in the drug war.
“It's three things: methamphetamine, almost all produced in Mexico; heroin, virtually all produced in Mexico, and cocaine that comes up from further south,” Kelly said. “Those three drugs result in the death of I think in '15, I think, of 52,000 people to include opiates. It's a massive problem - 52,000 Americans dead.
“You can't put a price on human misery. The cost to the United States is over $250 billion a year.
Kelly said the solution to the drug war “is not arresting a lot of users.”
“The solution is a comprehensive drug demand reduction program in the United States that involves every man and woman of goodwill,” he said.