by Jim Kouri
Clash Daily Guest Contributor
When President Barack Obama began stumping on Tuesday for his amnesty for illegal aliens and the so-called “gang of eight” reform bill, his Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano prepared the way with a telephone conference with sheriffs and police chiefs serving near the U.S.-Mexican border on Monday, according to officials with the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) directorate. But the majority of the time spent discussing her agenda items made no mention of security deficiencies, according to a participant.
Napolitano stated the purpose of the conference call was to personally discuss the need for commonsense reform to strengthen border security. But many believe her words to be empty since her department ended the federal program called 287G in last July. The program allowed local law enforcement agencies to take on the role of federal immigration officers, to demand people prove their citizenship status and start deportation proceedings.
“Instead of discussing the 287G program, Napolitano gave law enforcement executive talking points about the Obama administration’s so-called ‘historic gains’ achieved over the past four years. It was hogwash, plain and simple,” said Undersheriff Joseph L., who did not want his department named.
Napolitano boasted that “The administration has made increasing border security a clear priority, and the most important thing we can do to build on this historic progress is to pass commonsense immigration reform,” said Secretary Napolitano.
“Under this administration, we’ve put more boots on the border than any time in history, and deployed historic levels of technology. There is more we can do, and the bill under discussion in the Senate would invest billions of additional dollars into this already unprecedented effort, and assist in our efforts focus enforcement resources on individuals who pose a danger to national security or a risk to public safety and other enforcement priorities,” she claims.
However, Napolitano failed to discuss the postponement of building a fence or of canceling a contract for security devices that failed to function after paying $1 billion dollars, according to the Government Accountability Office.
According to a April 3 Examiner.com news story by Kimberly Dvorak, the cameras purchased for use on the U.S.-Mexican border were up-for-sale on Ebay.
“Secretary Napolitano spent most of the time addressing the nation’s broken immigration system. But she then said she wished to sustain the progress DHS, and its state and local partners, have made in the past four years,” said Undersheriff Joseph L.
“Secretary Napolitano claims the bill being debated in the Senate will strengthen security at our borders by investing in additional manpower, infrastructure, aviation assets, and it funds the procurement of proven, effective surveillance technology along the Southwest border. She must have thought she was speaking to a group of police academy recruits instead of professional cops, which she it not,” stated a former detective squad commander, Louis Wallner.
In January, President Obama announced his “key principles for commonsense immigration reform” that would invest in the ports of entry, and help officers and agents focus on public safety threats; make it harder for transnational criminal organizations to operate, while encouraging immigrants to pursue a pathway to earned citizenship; hold employers accountable and strengthen the integrity of the immigration system overall.
Image: Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.DHS; source: FEMA Photo Library; author: NyxoLyno Cangemi; public domain
Jim Kouri, CPP, is founder and CEO of Kouri Associates, a homeland security, public safety and political consulting firm. He’s formerly Fifth Vice-President, now a Board Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, an editor for ConservativeBase.com, a columnist for Examiner.com, a contributor to KGAB radio news, and news director for NewswithViews.com.