Amongst angst in Washington DC, former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced her support of the expected Obama Executive Action today.

“If Congress refuses to act and perform its duties, then I think it’s appropriate for the executive to step in and use his authorities based on law . . . to take action in the immigration arena,’’ Napolitano, a lawyer and former U.S. attorney in Arizona, said in an exclusive interview with The Washington Post.

Napolitano spoke ahead of a speech she is scheduled to give Monday in Georgia in which she will publicly detail for the first time the sometimes heated internal administration debate over the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Begun by Obama over fierce objections from some conservatives, it has deferred the deportations of more than 580,000 young immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children.

In the speech, Napolitano describes a complicated and fraught 2012 debate inside the administration in which White House lawyers peppered her with tough questions and some Department of Homeland Security officials questioned whether the program would overwhelm the government’s ability to implement it.

“There were serious logistical concerns,” Napolitano says in her prepared remarks, a copy of which was obtained by The Post. “It would run the risk of appearing to make law and usurping Congress. . . . Who knew how it all would turn out?”

Napolitano’s perspective is especially relevant as the administration debates whether to take further executive action on immigration, including a possible major expansion of the 2012 relief program. With a comprehensive immigration-law overhaul dead for now on Capitol Hill, Obama had promised to act on his own by summer’s end, and the administration had been preparing new measures that would potentially allow millions of illegal immigrants to remain in the United States without fear of deportation.

Source: The Washington Post