Thursday, April 25, 2024

Former DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano Expresses Support for Executive Action on Immigration


On Monday, former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano expressed her support for President Obama’s intent to act on immigration through executive action.  Under Napolitano, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program came to fruition in 2012, and granted thousands of young, eligible undocumented immigrants the ability to stay and work in the U.S. without the threat of deportation.

During a speech detailing the legal process and framework of implementing DACA, Napolitano noted that the people who would benefit from vital DACA protections, “were brought here as kids, not of their own volition. They really are the kind of worst victims of the lack of immigration reform.” Napolitano continued, “In the absence of action by the House of Representatives on comprehensive immigration reform, something at least needed to be done to address the plight of the Dreamers.”

Although Napolitano did not go into detail about what actions she believes the President should take, she highlighted that fact that DACA set an important legal precedent for the President to act without Congress, which has stunted the possibility of passing immigration legislation this year.  As a leading voice in the debate over immigration reform, Napolitano’s comments are critical as the President’s self-imposed deadline to act on immigration after the November midterms inches closer.

Speaking candidly during an interview with the Washington Post, Napolitano stated that, “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.”

The Huffington Post