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Governor Janet Napolitano (D-AZ) Appointed Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security

by Web Team on 12/01/2008 at 4:18pm





Today,
President-Elect
Barack Obama appointed Governor Janet Napolitano (D-AZ) to
Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. The Department of
Homeland
Security is charged with protecting the U.S. from terrorism and
responding
to natural disasters, among other duties. Last week, America’s Voice
Executive Director Frank Sharry wrote about some of the problems that
have plagued the Department’s immigration agency:

Let’s
face it: both DHS and ICE have seen their dignity dive-bomb under Chertoff’s
rule. After immigration reform was murdered by anti-immigrant forces in
2007, ICE took matters into its own hands.

The
agency’s showy immigration raids have focused on rounding up immigrant workers
and tearing
them from their families
to generate splashy headlines. Of course, this
comes at the expense of not prosecuting dangerous criminals or unscrupulous
employers.

But
rounding people up is just the beginning. Recent New York Times and Washington
Post exposés
have revealed the outrageous deaths of seventy immigrant
detainees, many of whom died
because of poor conditions in privately-traded,
expanding ICE detention centers.

What’s
more, ICE has been slamming workers with trumped
up identity theft charges
and executing mass trials that have trampled our
deeply-held values of due process and basic justice. The Supreme Court is set
to investigate one such identity theft case next
year
.

Finally,
we can’t ignore former ICE head Julie Myers’ moments of sheer incompetence,
stupidity,
and apparent
racism
. These only served to further tarnish ICE’s reputation. Most
recently, her Operation Scheduled Departure, a “self-deportation” plan that
netted eight (8) unlawful immigrants in total, was a colossal waste of taxpayer
dollars.

Incidentally,
Ms. Myers scheduled her own departure from the Agency right after Mr. Obama was
elected.

If
Napolitano’s likely appointment to Secretary of Homeland Security is anything,
it is a welcome departure from business as usual at DHS. It is a chance for a
courageous leader to restore dignity to a highly politicized agency that has
spiraled out of control.

 

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