National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

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National Immigration Forum Reacts to Apparent Selection of Governor Napolitano as Secretary of DHS

November 21, 2008

Washington, DC – On November 19th, multiple news sources began reporting that President-elect Obama’s primary choice for secretary of Homeland Security is Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano. The following is a statement from Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum.


The choice of Governor Janet Napolitano as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security is a welcome signal that President-elect Obama intends to take immigration seriously during his administration. 


As a border governor, Napolitano has exhibited a clear understanding of the challenges presented by our nation’s broken immigration system.  As DHS Secretary, she will be in a powerful position to advocate for reform of that system and to strike a balance between enforcement of our immigration laws and fairness in how the agency treats those in its charge.


More importantly, Governor Napolitano will provide the clear leadership DHS sorely needs to regain the trust of the American people.  As an agency with massive responsibility, the new leadership of DHS must balance many competing agendas. Based on her record in Arizona, we believe that Governor Napolitano is well suited to balancing DHS’s dual responsibilities of welcoming immigrants and enforcing our immigration laws.

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