Janet Napolitano on Immigration
Democratic AZ Governor; Designee for Secretary of Homeland Security
By 2012, there were an estimated 1.4 million Dreamers living in the country. Named after the 2001 DREAM Act legislation , which would have given them legal status and a path to citizenship, Dreamers were brought into the country as children. They were kids who in all but the letter of the law were Americans. All lived in fear of deportation.
The Congress appropriates resources specifically to DHS removal and detention operations to remove fewer than 2% out of the estimated 11 million undocumented individuals. These numbers imply that choices were being made about who should be removed.
And so early on at my time at DHS we instructed agents in the field to focus their efforts on the "bad actors"--individuals who presented risks to national security, or who had committed felonies, and so on. Dreamers and others no longer fit the priorities.
Within days, Calderon was in the Rose Garden with Obama, attacking the Arizona law. When the Mexican president went before the Congress to charge that the law--which specifically prohibits racial profiling--"introduces racial profiling as a basis for law enforcement," the Democratic side of the aisle that included Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Janet Napolitano rose to cheer Calderon's defamation of the state of Arizona.
We have to keep up this intense pressure on the border criminals who use violence and fraud to smuggle people and drugs into our country. This effort includes a bill I am presenting to you today that goes after those criminals by broadening the human trafficking laws we use to crack down on those who smuggle people across the border.
Napolitano has fought to curb illegal immigration, but has been skeptical that building a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border will solve the problem. She once said: “You build a 50-foot wall, somebody will find a 51-foot ladder.”
The governor opted to: crackdown on employers who hire undocumented workers; catch forgers of ID documents; push for more National Guards and Homeland Security measures to deter border crossings.
Conservatives deride Napolitano’s refusal to support legislation targeting illegal immigrants already in the US working for US employers.
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