Homeland Security Chief Visits Houston For Immigration Talks

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is in Houston meeting with local officials and businesses about immigration reform. The secretary's visit comes as Congress prepares to debate the issue later this month.

Secretary Napolitano met with Houston Sheriff Adrian Garcia, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and business leaders at the Vinson & Elkins law firm.

Napolitano suggests immigration reform should include a tougher stance against employers who hire illegal labor and a reliable system for companies to confirm the citizenship of new hires.

“Reform should have a pathway to earned citizenship for those already here, so they can ultimately get right with the law and obtain legal status. It should significantly improve, and this is the key point we discussed today, the legal immigration system, including for example reform of our visa system.”

Napolitano responded to earlier statements made by Governor Rick Perry and Senator John Cornyn who say the border is not secure or safe and that her department has left it up to Texas to do the job.

“We have a huge operation going on now in the south Rio Grande valley and in Texas overall, just as we do in the entire southwest border. And when you actually look at the numbers, it’s record numbers of manpower and technology and, by the way, total air coverage, which we’ve never had before. So in terms of the resources that have been deployed here, more than ever.”

Napolitano says crime and apprehensions along the border went down every year for the past four years

The Homeland Security Chief is on a tour of border states to discuss immigration policy and reform.



Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson


Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Laurie has covered a wide variety of topics for HPM, including the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and numerous elections. She is a frequent contributor to NPR and has been...

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