Washington, D.C. –At a speech at the Center for American Progress today, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano made a strong case for enacting comprehensive immigration reform. She noted that while her agency has made strides in improving our border security, the nation needs new laws to strengthen national security, meet global economic demands, improve the legal flow for families and workers, and rationally deal with undocumented immigrants now in the United States.
“In recent months, Secretary Napolitano has moved quickly, issuing new guidelines in multiple areas to begin to repair the broken system. But as we are all aware, new administrative rules alone cannot hold together a malfunctioning immigration system. More must be done. The public demands it and our economy will benefit from it,” said CAP President and CEO John Podesta.
“Let me emphasize this: We will never have fully effective law enforcement or national security as long as so many millions remain in the shadows,”Napolitano said in calling for a“tough and fair pathway”to earned legal status. “Making sure these people become full taxpayers and pay their fair share will both benefit our economy and make it easier to enforce the laws against unscrupulous or exploitive employers.”
"It is now time for Congress to act," added Angela M. Kelley, CAP’s Vice President for Immigration Policy and Advocacy.
“The secretary’s speech set the table for reform. The agency’s accomplishments since the 2007 debate are impressive but insufficient. As the nation’s top security official made clear, it is up to Congress to provide the legal framework needed to achieve real and lasting security, to strengthen our economy, and to stabilize communities,” Kelley said.
“DHS has driven the issue to the threshold of Congress’ door. Congress must open the door and we all must join together to pass legislation that restores our identity as a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws,” Kelley added.
Watch video of the event here.
Read Andrea Nill’s blog post in the Wonk Room on Secretary Napolitano’s comments on 287 (g) and Sherriff Joe Arpaio here.
Listen to audio of the event, here.
Read Secretary Napolitano’s prepared remarks, here.
Lea las declaraciones de la Secretaria Napolitano en español.
To speak with CAP experts on Secretary Napolitano’s speech today, please contact Raúl Arce-Contreras at 202-478-5318.