Photo: Immigration Bill Hearings Underway
Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano testified today at the new immigration legislation hearings on Capital Hill.
Before the Secretary could present her testimony she was grilled on the travels of bombing suspect Tamarlan Tsarnaev trip to Russia in 2012 and what Homeland Security could of done better to monitor his whereabouts.
Napolitano started her testimony by thanking the group of eight bipartisan Senators who crafted the bill formally known as “The Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, S.744.”
Napolitano reassured the Senators that the administration is and continues to be committed to a secure border, citing apprehension and deportation statistics under President Obama. Since 2004, she noted the number of Border Patrol agents has doubled from approximately 10,000 to more than 21,000 today.
“Attempts to cross the Southwest border illegally, as measured by Border Patrol apprehensions, have decreased 49 percent over the past four years, and are 78 percent lower than what they were at their peak. Since 2009, DHS has also seized 71 percent more currency, 39 percent more drugs, and 189 percent more weapons along the Southwest border, compared to the previous four-year period,” the Secretary noted.
The Secretary reaffirmed what the White House has been saying all along:
“For immigration reform to be successful, we believe these individuals [undocumented immigrants] should have a clear pathway to earned citizenship. The President and I, as well as the rest of the Cabinet, stand willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that comprehensive immigration reform becomes a reality as soon as possible.”
To read Secretary Napolitano’s complete testimony click here.
Her testimony comes on the heals of several conservative Republican Senators, including Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, urging a delay on immigration bill hearings until more is known about the Chechen immigrant brothers and their route to America as refugees seeking asylum . The young men and their parents came to this country as refugees in 2002.