Tags: Immigration | Janet Napolitano | Executive Action | Immigration | Amnesty

Napolitano Backs Executive Action on Immigration Amnesty

By    |   Monday, 27 October 2014 09:07 AM

Former Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano agrees that President Barack Obama should resort to executive action on amnesty, she told The Washington Post in an exclusive interview.

"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," said Napolitano, who left the White House in 2013 to become president of the University of California system.

She is scheduled to address the University of Georgia Law School Monday, where according to her remarks, provided in advance to the Post, she will give a glimpse into the "heated internal administration debate over the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program," which provides conditional permanent residency to certain immigrants who came to the United States as minors and lived here for at least five years prior to the bill's enactment.

The policy has halted deportations of more than 580,000 people who came to the United States illegally as children, according to Breitbart News.

The DACA program will serve as a helpful blueprint for the president since it "provides a good petri dish on how you set it up, the budget stuff, all of those nuts and bolts," according to Napolitano.

In her 2013 farewell speech to Congress, Napolitano asked Congress to pass a legislative package to address comprehensive immigration reform, according to Breitbart.

While defending her "prosecutorial discretion to administratively grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants who qualify under ‘DREAM Act’ provisions," Napolitano made clear that "administrative amnesty is "no substitute for comprehensive immigration reform, which is the only way to face the long-standing problems with our immigration system."

"Congress had a chance to give the so-called dreamers a way to stay in our country through the DREAM Act but, unfortunately, that legislation failed to garner the 60 votes need for cloture, falling just five votes short despite strong bipartisan support," she said at the time.

The DREAM Act, stymied in Congress, requires congressional authorization as well as the president’s signature. DACA is an executive order signed by Obama in 2012 that ostensibly bypassed the DREAM Act.

Advisers initially recommended only delaying deportations for "dreamers” who were already in the process of being removed from the country. It wasn’t enough for Napolitano.
She forged ahead despite objections from various factions including some agents at Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency charged with enforcing the program and in June 2012 President Obama announced the program.

She tells the Post that DACA "was an illustration of how an agency and the White House worked together on pushing forward a legal and policy matter that hadn’t been done before that could affect thousands of people.’

"It just seemed to me that we needed to do something for this group of young people. They were brought here as kids, not of their own volition. They really are kind of the worst victims of the lack of immigration reform."

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Former Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano agrees that President Barack Obama should resort to executive action on amnesty, she told The Washington Post in an exclusive interview.
Janet Napolitano, Executive Action, Immigration, Amnesty
Monday, 27 October 2014 09:07 AM
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