Homeland Security chief says border security is a priority

border3Arizona Daily Star, 01/22/2013

The new secretary of homeland security stressed alertness along the U.S.-Mexico border, but during his first official visit to Southern Arizona he did not address recent cartel-related violence in Sonora.

“We have to remain vigilant in the face of evolving challenges to border security,” Jeh Johnson, homeland security secretary, said during an afternoon stop at the Customs and Border Protection building on South Swan Road.

He said border security is a priority along with making sure the agencies he oversees remain open to using new methods.

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New DHS secretary tours Texas-Mexico border

Border fenceThe Washington Times, 01/21/2014

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Tuesday on a visit to the Texas-Mexico border that the surge of immigrants from countries other than Mexico crossing the border illegally presents challenges to the department.

“What has been brought home to me today is that we need to continually monitor trends in border crossings,” Johnson said at the Anzalduas International Bridge. “We need to continually try to stay ahead of the game when it comes to trends, emerging trends.”

While arrests of Mexican citizens remained nearly unchanged last year, arrests of immigrants from other countries, including Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, increased 55 percent, according to data released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Friday.

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Report: Border security upgrade botched

Border fenceUT San Diego, 01/12/2014

The Department of Homeland Security is under fire again for its project management, this time involving a $1.5 billion upgrade of a critical computer system that border law enforcement relies on to screen people entering the country by land, sea and air.

A new report from the Government Accountability Office says that a plan to modernize the computer data system, known as TECS, has been plagued by missed deadlines and poor oversight. The upgrade was supposed to be operating by September 2015, but the report said it’s doubtful that deadline will be me

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Immigrants Closely Tied to Military Get Reprieve

Statue of Liberty HorizThe New York Times, 11/15/2013

The Obama administration issued a new policy on Friday that will allow immigrants in the United States illegally who are close relatives of active military troops and veterans to stay and move toward becoming permanent residents.

The long-awaited memorandum, coming after three years of deliberations by Department of Homeland Security officials, was an effort to untangle knots in immigration law that left many soldiers worried that their immigrant family members could be deported while they were deployed.

Janet Napolitano: Immigration ‘No. 1 priority’

Janet NapolitanoPolitico, 3/4/2013

Immigration reform is the “No. 1” legislative priority for the Department of Homeland Security this year, trumping cybersecurity issues, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Monday at a POLITICO Playbook breakfast. “…I would say, frankly, that our No. 1 priority in terms of legislation is immigration,” Napolitano told POLITICO’s Mike Allen at a breakfast marking the 10th anniversary of the agency. “It is high time for immigration reform.”

Napolitano appeared with the only other two secretaries to have led the department: former Homeland Security Secretaries Michael Chertoff and Tom Ridge, in their only joint appearance marking the department’s anniversary. Napolitano also addressed reports that DHS has released immigrant detainees from detention centers as a cost-saving mechanism due to budget uncertainties tied to last week’s sequestration and other looming budget fights. Napolitano said that “several hundred” detainees were released — not “thousands,” as news reports from last week had indicated. She stressed that those moved from detention centers were low-risk.

Illegal immigrant deportation flights to Mexico City scaled back

The Los Angeles Times, 10/2/12

A U.S. pilot program designed to deport illegal immigrants by flying them to Mexico City will operate for only two months this year and involve 20 flights, a significant
scaling-back of what was billed as a humanitarian effort to avoid deporting people to violent border regions…

“This type of collaborative effort to protect migrants and limit recruitment for
organized crime is an important tool,” said Christopher Wilson, an associate at
the Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington. “This is an effective way to deal with this humanitarian crisis, in which migrants are dumped in parts of northern Mexico that are not all safe.”

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DHS ‘fusion centers’ portrayed as pools of ineptitude, civil liberties intrusions

The Washington Post, 10/2/12

An initiative aimed at improving intelligence sharing has done little to make the country more secure, despite as much as $1.4 billion in federal spending, according to a two-year examination by Senate investigators.

The nationwide network of offices known as “fusion centers” was launched after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to address concerns that local, state and federal authorities were not sharing information effectively about potential terrorist threats.

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US immigration chief: Same-sex ties are family ties

NBC News, 9/28/2012

Same-sex couples will be considered “family relationships” in immigration proceedings, according to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, a move that could help stem the deportation of those in gay or lesbian binational relationships.

Close family ties to the United States are a factor considered by authorities in deportation cases, and gay and lesbian advocates have long argued for same-sex couples to have the same immigration rights as opposite-sex couples.

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Mexico to aid undocumented immigrant youths at 50 consular offices

Mercury News, 07/23/2012

The Mexican Embassy on Monday opened the doors to its San Jose, San Francisco and 48 other consular offices across the United States to undocumented immigrant youths seeking work permits and deportation relief through a new Obama administration directive.

The U.S. government won’t begin accepting deportation relief applications until Aug. 15, but the Mexican government will help eligible young people apply by giving them information and ensuring they have the proper documents, said Juan Carlos Lara-Armienta, the Mexican Embassy’s head of Latino affairs.

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The fight against drug-traffickers is not over [In Spanish]

PODER, 4/2/2012

Napolitano

Dolia Estévez, Senior Mexican Correspondent and Foreign Affairs Analyst for the Mexico Institute, interviewed Janet Napolitano in Washington, D.C. During their private conversation, the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) spoke about the current state of the U.S.-Mexico border, arguing that it had never been as safe as it is now and thus cannot be used as an “excuse” – particularly by Republicans – to deter the advancement of a comprehensive migration reform. Napolitano also stated that she foresees approval of the Dream Act soon.

Read full interview Lucha contra el narco está inconclusa.