Last Updated:August 1 @ 09:32 pm

Napolitano defends Obama's decision not to enforce immigration law

By Alicia A. Caldwell

WASHINGTON (AP) - Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is defending President Barack Obama's decision to stop deporting many illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children and let them apply for work permits.

"Our nation's immigration laws must be enforced in a strong and sensible manner," Napolitano said in prepared remarks submitted to the House Judiciary Committee. "But they are not designed to be blindly enforced without consideration given to the individual circumstances of each case."

In the remarks, Napolitano described the plan and defended the administration's decision. The secretary was appearing before Congress for the first time since the plan was announced.

Obama announced in June that he was easing immigration laws by executive order for many illegal immigrants brought to the country as children. Under the policy change, illegal immigrants would be eligible to avoid deportation if they can prove they are 30 years old or younger, have been in the United States at least five years, arrived before they turned 16, have graduated from a U.S. high school or earned a GED or are currently in school and don't have a criminal record. They can also apply for a work permit that will be good for two years with no limit on how many times it can be renewed.

The policy change could affect more than a million illegal immigrants and partially achieves the goals of the so-called DREAM Act, legislation that would provide a pathway to citizenship for many young illegal immigrants.

Republicans have widely criticized the program, calling it "backdoor amnesty" that circumvents the will of Congress.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, has been among the harshest critics of the administration's immigration enforcement policies.

"The administration's amnesty agenda is a win for illegal immigrants but a loss for Americans," Smith said in his prepared opening statement. "Time and again the Department of Homeland Security has gone out of its way to avoid the enforcement of immigration laws. The Department of Homeland Security's policy of non-enforcement will continue to cost innocent Americans their jobs."

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12 Comments

  1. billwvComment by billwv
    July 19, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

    This Napolitano is a real nut job; taking up for her boss. “We will ‘selectively’ and ‘randomly’ enforce whatever part of the law ‘we want to enforce.’
    Then why can’t all Americans ‘obey’ whatever part of the law we want to obey?
    No, [Janet] [there is a constitution] and the laws written are what we have to go by.
    Enforce our constitution and our present laws or resign.

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    • CharlieComment by vietnamvet
      July 20, 2012 @ 9:29 am

      Nothing surprising in that headline, “Napolitano defends Obama’s decision … ”

      She would support any decision of his whether it paints all dogs blue or mandates dreadlocks for all women over sixty.

      Her lack of grip on reality is espressed by her insistence that the southern border is more secure now that it has ever been.

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    • johnsnareComment by johnsnare
      July 28, 2012 @ 11:22 am

      This entire administration is loaded with left wing liberal sickos. The hell with the American worker, we are more concerned about votes. This is the agenda of the left wing liberals. Illegal, is illegal. What the hell is the problem? Get this group of Saul Alinsky honor students out in 2012. Transform America? Obama, is doing one hell of a job. Send this Kenyan born Communist back to his homeland. Four and out.

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  2. cjonsonComment by cjonson
    July 19, 2012 @ 3:18 pm

    Exactly right Bill. What if someone is really down on their luck? They lost their job and have a family to feed so they decide to rob a bank or store. Should the police look at their indvidual case and say, well they are in need of money, so let’s let them break the law.

    Sorry, I don’t see how selectively enforcing a law is justice.

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  3. BobinmsComment by Bobinms
    July 19, 2012 @ 4:30 pm

    Worse still this is an erosion of our laws and the fundamental principles upon which this country was founded. What will be next. As jonson points out why not forgive a bank robery is the song is sad enough. What do we need judges for, I know what’s right. All dictators know what is right.

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  4. dbamichaelComment by dbamichael
    July 19, 2012 @ 4:40 pm

    Gee, I wonder how this new enlightened US Justice policy treats Zero Tolerance laws.

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  5. wdjincComment by wdjinc
    July 19, 2012 @ 4:58 pm

    Another circumvention of Congress and flaunting of Constitution by Obama who now is making his own laws. The Dream Act will put another 1.5 million on the unemployment lines, yet they may get more jobs ahead of citizens because they will work for cheaper wages. This will also bring another influx of illegals into the USA so they too can obtain benefits. All of this is a cost to taxpayers so that Obama can win more votes from the Latinos.

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  6. bna42Comment by bna42
    July 19, 2012 @ 5:39 pm

    “”Our nation’s immigration laws must be enforced in a strong and sensible manner,” Napolitano said in prepared remarks submitted to the House Judiciary Committee. “But they are not designed to be blindly enforced without consideration given to the individual circumstances of each case.”

    In other words, no equal protection under the law.

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  7. goodguynyComment by goodguyny
    July 19, 2012 @ 6:38 pm

    I just have a hard time believing that every single person that works for Obama actually is in full support of every decision he makes. Most of these people have around Washington for some time and realize that there are things that are being done that are just wrong. Eric Holder is trying to get away from any responsibility of the gun running scheme that the Justice Department came up with. Eric Holder randomly decided not to prosecute the New Black Panthers for their blatant disregard for election laws and voter intimidation. Obama just spews out executive orders without any thought to the backlash or other effects that they may have on the country in general. I have often wondered, can Congress over ride an Executive Order? Executive orders are not discussed anywhere in the Constitution as an absolute power of the Executive Branch. To me it seems that executive orders are just accepted for what they are without out any legal substance.

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  8. 77fordComment by 77ford
    July 19, 2012 @ 7:57 pm

    I don,t think any kids born here of illegals should be giving a birth certificate saying they are ua citizen they should just be giving something showing they were born and they are citizens of the country there parents are from and deported arrest Obama and his family and Napolitano and the rest of his crew

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  9. grannylakeComment by grannylake
    July 20, 2012 @ 9:22 pm

    Anyone who is responsible for law enforcement and fails to enforce a law or encourages others to ignore laws and/or the law-breakers is commiting an illegal act themself.

    Elected officials who ignore or violate the Constitution have broken their oath of office, dishonored their office and committed treason. Obama’s administration is filled with lying, treasonist cheats. They abdicated their offices and anointed themselves as royalty.

    They won’t stop but we can stop them in November.

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  10. liesmaComment by liesma
    July 21, 2012 @ 10:47 pm

    The headline makes it seem as though someone should be surprised she would do so…

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