Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday to discuss U.S. border security and enforcement spending.
Napolitano asserted that the border is more secure than ever before and noted that the current administration has deported record numbers of people. However, she said, the border shouldn’t be the only focus of illegal immigration enforcement spending.
Napolitano spoke as a representative of the administration, making the case that Obama’s team has handled immigration as well as they could so far, but now an overhaul of the system is needed. When it happens, she said, it needs to be with the understanding that the border isn’t the only problem. In fact, the border may not be as important as stopping employers from attracting undocumented immigrants into the United States, she said.
“We’re all living in a fiscally austere world, and we have a responsibility to invest dollars to where they have the most benefit,” she said. “I think, as the secretary, I would advise the committee that those enforcement efforts are better spent in the interior of the country,” she continued, adding that border provisions are still needed.
Napolitano said that more could be done, particularly to ensure that employers cannot hire undocumented immigrants. She told the senators that worker verification, such as the E-Verify program that screens for unauthorized applicants, is “essential to immigration reform.”
Source: Huffington Post