Former Department of Homeland Security Secretary and current White House chief of staff John Kelly reached out to acting DHS chief Elaine Duke prior to her decision to extend residency permits to thousands of Hondurans living in the U.S. and recommended she not continue the program, according to a report published Thursday.
Kelly called Duke on Monday, hours before the deadline to continue or conclude the program. He told her extending the residency permits for 57,000 Hondurans would ensure the temporary protected status program "keeps getting kicked down the road" and would prevent the administration's larger immigration goals, a White House official told the Washington Post.
A source with knowledge of the conversation told the Post Duke was angered by Kelly's call because it seemed to be politically motivated since the administration has talked about the TPS program as an example of immigration policies that must be rolled back.
"As with many issues, there were a variety of views inside the administration on a policy. The acting secretary took those views and advice [on] the path forward for TPS and made her decision based on the law," DHS spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told the Post.
However, a White House official said Kelly reached out to Duke to address her "lack of decisiveness."