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  • Questions for Secretary Napolitano

    DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano is tentatively scheduled to testify before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee about DHS immigration enforcement policies on May 6, 2009. Given Secretary Napolitano’s novel interpretations of federal law, the Heritage Foundation will be posting a series of questions (and suggested answers) for the Secretary.

    Questions for Napolitano: # 1, The Future of State and Local Immigration Enforcement

    In numerous public statements over the last four months, Obama Administration officials have made comments that appear to question the importance of and use of state and local law enforcement to help reduce America’s illegal immigration problem. Does the Obama Administration fully support the use of section 287(g) and does it remain committed to other ICE Access programs?

    Suggested answer:

    Beginning in 2002, ICE began partnering with local law enforcement agencies under a cross-designation program authorized by Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. This program allows local law enforcement officers to enforce immigration laws. In a 287(g) partnership, a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between ICE and the local law enforcement agency outlines the authority given to the local officers. ICE agents closely monitor activities under the 287(g) program, and localities are required to report any immigration-related enforcement work to ICE supervisors. Participating law enforcement officers are also required to attend a four-week training course and must meet basic requirements, including U.S. citizenship and a minimum of two years of work experience.

    In the past several years, the cross-designation program has been extremely popular with state and local law enforcement agencies. ICE has 67 active MOAs and has received many additional requests for 287(g) partnerships. The recent Government Accountability Office report correctly identified some issues with the 287(g) program, but it also failed to recognize the constitutional ability of the states to enforce laws. Americans trust law enforcement officers to do their jobs enforcing U.S. criminal laws–trust that should be granted to those enforcing U.S. immigration laws as well. Micromanaging immigration enforcement officers’ decision-making process could dissuade them from participating. ICE also launched a program called: ICE Agreements of Cooperation in Communities to Enhance Safety and Security (ICE ACCESS), which was created to provide a menu of different programs that allow the federal government to partner with and support local law enforcement officers in enforcing customs and immigration laws, from border taskforces to document fraud efforts.

    Cooperation with local law enforcement has drawn accusations that local police departments are overzealously enforcing immigration laws, targeting anybody who “looks and sounds” foreign. These claims are not a fair representation of the enforcement effort. The MOAs between ICE and local agencies specifically prohibit local officers from arresting people solely on the suspicion of being an illegal immigrant. For an arrest to be made, a person must first be stopped and held for breaking another state law. A traffic stop, such as for speeding, does not warrant a criminal arrest and cannot result in an arrest for an immigration violation

    The Obama Administration, through Secretary Napolitano should says that it continues to support both 287(g) and ICE ACCESS programs so that our 1.1 million state and local law enforcement personnel can lend a hand in gaining control of our illegal immigration problem.

    For more information on Heritage’s work on 287(g) and ICE ACCESS Programs check out Jena Baker McNeill’s WebMemo, Enforcing Immigration Laws: State and Local Assistance Needed.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to Questions for Secretary Napolitano

    1. matthew says:

      Great article. Just saw a usage issue.

      Serious of questions, should be a series

      of questions. Not trying to be rude, but

      thought you should know

    2. Dennis A. Social Cir says:

      How do you support a law when the secretary says the illegals did not violate any law when they entered this country illegaly???? Sounds like a lot of double talk just like the rest of the administration, puppets on a srting for obama.

    3. Val Erie, PA says:

      If the DHS secretary thinks the problem is employers hiring illegals, then she should not be hesitant to ask Congress to extend and utilize E-Verify. What is the federal government doing well with respect ot illegal immigrants? Nothing

    4. Reaganite Republican says:

      All who were left scratching their heads when Obama chose this obedient toady to head Homeland Security now can get a handle on it: a serious choice who would have been focused upon real terrorist threats (not imaginary, partisan ones i.e. the TEA parties)- like, say, a Rudolph Giuliani, wouldn't have been a willing collaborator in such a sham report trashing US vets as right-wing nuts about to start a revolution.

      Napolitano's qualifications for this job were simply being a left-wing Obama sycophant… certainly not any skills, insights, or ability.

      Her statements on the Canadian border illustrate how incompetent and confused she is- Neopolitano completely lacks the credentials to be in-charge of protecting our country from the likes of Al Qaida.

      Trouble is, the narcissist Obama needs to be surrounded by mindless drones to confirm his omnipotence and pollyanna world view. Such appointments as Napolitano and Panetta to vital national security jobs are a show of weakness that will surely encourage the terrorists who see America as their enemy… no matter how often Obama tries to surrender.

      And anyone who expected Barack to place the nation's practical defense interests above those of his own political security and radical agenda hasn't really looked at how he got this far in the first place.


    5. Jesus Nerio says:

      If we here in the U.S. believe that the family unity is so important, why does the Secretary of Homeland Security hold that separation of a family member does not constitute "extreme hardship" (Matter of Pilch, BIA Interim Dec. #3298) and condones hardships upon U.S. citizen spouses and children in foreign countries as a result of the separation of the family unity (Matter of Ige, 20 I&N Dec. 880)??

    6. Singerman, Colorado says:

      This looks like a case of an official who skewed her report to the thin veneer of experience she has had with one investigation into one terror suspect in the Oklahoma City bombing. Analyst Bluepapers had a pretty concise, sound analysis on this incident: http://www.analystblues.com

    7. Sue Howell says:

      Is the following article true about Obama signing a presidential determination to use $20M to bring hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees (with ties to Hamas)to American?

      Subject: New Executive order.

      Here is yet another unilateral action taken by our new President, for which we must rely upon the information of friends to discover. I wonder how the "Jewish" block of Democratic voters now feels about their choice for President. When, if ever, will people wake up?

      I wanted you to have the information.

      Try and tell the American people that Obama doesn't have ties to the Islamic terrorist world.

      Obama funds $20M tax payer dollars to immigrate Hamas Refugees to the USA

      This is the news that didn't make the headlines…

      By executive order, President Barack Obama has ordered the expenditure of $20.3 million in migration assistance to the Palestinian refugees and conflict victims in Gaza . The "presidential determination" which allows hundreds of thousands of Palestinians with ties to Hamas to resettle in the United States was signed on January 27 and appeared in the Federal Register on February 4.

      Few on Capitol Hill took note that the order provides a free ticket replete with housing and food allowances to individuals who have displayed their overwhelming support of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in the parliamentary election of January 2006.

      A review of Barack Obama's most recent actions since he was inaugurated:

      His first call to any head of state as president was to Mahmoud Abbas, leader of Fatah party in the Palestinian territory..

      His first one-on-one interview with any news organization was with Al Arabia television.

      He ordered Guantanamo Bay closed and all military trials of detainees halted.

      He ordered all overseas CIA interrogation centers closed.

      He withdrew all charges against the masterminds behind the USS Cole and 9/11.

      Now we learn that he is allowing hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refuges to move to and live in the US at American taxpayer expense.

      To verify for yourself: http://www.thefederalregister.com/d.p/2009-02-04-

    8. Jake-NM says:

      Question: Do you believe that the DHS issued an 'extremism' report that was supposedly drafted by the previous administration, although it mentions having just elected an African American President, as one of the reasons for the report?

      My Recent blogs might give us the answer to this question-You Decide:

      DHS Targets Veterans:


      Homeland Issued Extremism Report Despite Objects:


      “Food For Thought”

      “God Bless Our USA”

      Semper Fi!


    9. Carol in az says:

      Please would the head of I.C.E or someone with excellent military expertise be appointed to these postion of securing our homeland and our borders.

      The example that I'm referring to is General Patrauis. He put his people in place with , "boots on the ground," restore order to New Orleans during that horrific time and he got the dam job done.

      I am so disappointed by Janet Nap. lack of action in the last two weeeks.

      How is it she could beg for troops on the AZ border during the G.Bush administration which was negated by him. As AZ Gov't at that time, she made the decision to put her National Guard men and women there for AZ protective action which was and still is, a Border War. Now she seems to be a person of complete inaction for this crisis that is overloading every major city in the USA.

      I also find it very curious that the networks no longer program the very informative TV program "Homeland Security."

      Janet knows better. What could she be thinking!

      Semper Fi at the border Jake, we need your training there. Carol , AZ

    10. Henry A Chabot says:

      Its time to start Impeachment proceedings against you all know who. Henry C.

    11. Pingback: Morning Bell: A 9/10 Security Mindset | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

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