April 26th, 2010
01:16 PM ET
4 years ago

Napolitano takes aim at Arizona immigration law

 Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told ABC News Monday Arizona’s new immigration law is ‘misguided.’
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told ABC News Monday Arizona’s new immigration law is ‘misguided.’

(CNN) - Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is taking aim at the new controversial law passed in her home state of Arizona dealing with illegal immigration, telling ABC News it is "not a good law in any number of reasons."

"That one is a misguided law. It's not a good law, good enforcement law," said Napolitano, who served as governor of Arizona before being joining President Obama's administration last year. "But beyond that, what it illustrates is that other states now will feel compelled to do things."

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill Friday that requires police in her state to determine whether a person is in the U.S. legally – a measure critics say will foster racial profiling. But supporters argue the law will help crack down on illegal immigration. The law requires immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and requires police to question people if there is reason to suspect that they're in the country illegally. It also targets those who hire illegal immigrant day laborers or knowingly transport them.

In her interview with ABC broadcast Monday, Napolitano said the law is evidence a comprehensive federal immigration plan is needed.

"You will have this patchwork of laws where we need a federal immigration system that meets our security needs, that recognizes where we need to go in this 21st century and gives us a better framework on which to stand," she said.

After appearing to be put on the back burner, the Obama administration and Congressional Democrats have now indicated passage of immigration reform legislation is a top priority before the close of the 111th Congress.


Filed under: Arizona • Immigration • Janet Napolitano • Popular Posts
soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. JMikey54

    What will happen when Latino police officers start hauling in white citizens who do not have their papers on them, creating probable cause to have them arrested? I can see a lot of problems with this unjust law. "Show me your papers!"

    April 26, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. mike

    I think this is a great start to what is needed in this country. Unfortunately, the land of the free is exponentially growing to conditions that make it harder to control and provide for.. We cannot continue to bring in illegal aliens. We should be even lowering the permitted legal aliens per year. There is no way this type of system would not involve racial profiling. this is the most common way of suspicion. I'm sure if they sounded british and looked white they'd still be checked b/c that would be suspicious. You may say my ancestors came from others countries, most likely illegal, but there were by far more opportunities and different environment back then.

    April 26, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  3. Mack

    I really find it interesting that with the signing of this bill by the governor or Arizona, that there have been NO comments from Arizona's US Congressmen, particularly John McCain!!!

    April 26, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  4. philthetruth

    Classic, the only time the feds will address a problem that's killing the country is when someone else has the courage to do what they would not. Besides, that's their voting block that's being sent home so I'm sure they're motivated now...

    April 26, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  5. aaron in minneapolis

    This law is horrible. The republicans want to go back in time when white men ruled the world and colored people have to drink from a seperate drinking fountain. I hope they lose every hispanic vote in this country.

    Imagine the positive impact of giving 12 million latinos a U.S. citizenship?! We have 12 million more people paying income taxes. We have 12 million more people have to buy into the new health insurance program. We'll spend less money on deporting illegals. And the best part is we won't break up families. We'll reward those who have been working and living here and being a positive impact on their economies and communities.

    If someone trespasses on my yard I'd be upset. If someone trespasses and plants a garden I'll invite them in for dinner and wine. Go Dems!

    April 26, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  6. John Q.

    Here we go again... Fix the border "first" Congress/Obama, or you will have the same problems as the reform Bill did in 2006! It died in the halls of public opinion, even McCain "got it" eventually. This "comprehensive" double-talk has gone on long enough. "The People" don't trust you on this with all the broken promises from the last comprehensive amnesty plan that fixed NOTHING.
    How pathetic...

    April 26, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  7. dave

    NOT RACISM - legal immigration is slightly higher for Hispanics today than it was for Europeans in their hay day.

    Current immigration rates are moderate, even though America admitted more legal immigrants from 1991 to 2000 (between 10-11 million) than in any previous decade. In the most recent decade, the 10 million legal immigrants that settled in the U.S. represent an annual growth of only about one-third of 1% (as the U.S. population grew from 249 million to 281 million). By comparison, the highest previous decade was 1901-1910 when 8.8 million people arrived increasing the total U.S. population by 1 percent per year as the U.S. population grew from 76 to 92 million during that decade. Specifically, "nearly 15% of Americans were foreign-born in 1910, while in 1999, only about 10% were foreign-born." [

    As of 2006, the United States accepts more legal immigrants as permanent residents than any other country in the world.[1] Since the liberalization of immigration policy in 1965,[2] the number of first- generation immigrants living in the United States has quadrupled,[3] from 9.6 million in 1970 to about 38 million in 2007.[4]

    The National Origins Quota of 1924, according to the Immigration Act, was the first permanent limitation on immigration into the United States and established the “national origins quota system.” In conjunction with the Immigration Act of 1917, it governed American immigration policy until 1952 (see the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952).

    It contained two quota provisions:

    Effective until June 30, 1927—set the annual quota of any quota nationality at two percent of the number of foreign-born persons of such nationality resident in the continental United States in 1890 (total quota – 164,667).

    From July 1, 1927 (later postponed to July 1, 1929) to December 31, 1952—used the national origins quota system: the annual quota for any country or nationality had the same relation to 150,000 as the number of inhabitants in the continental United States in 1920 having that national origin had to the total number of inhabitants in the continental United States in 1920.

    Preference quota status was established for unmarried children under 21; for parents; for spouses of U.S. citizens aged 21 and over; and for quota immigrants aged 21 and over who are skilled in agriculture, together with their wives and dependent children under age 16.

    April 26, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  8. dan smith

    Good for Arizona. As long as illegal immigrants are committing acts of violence there it's time for the state to do something to take control of the situation since Obama won't.

    April 26, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  9. hopinghere2

    It is a good law. At least in Az and ILLEGAL ALEIN will habve reason to fear being here and breaking our laws. It is about time

    April 26, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  10. philthetruth

    The homeland security secretary says a law that is basically doing her job for her is misguided? Do they really think we are that stupid?

    April 26, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  11. RH

    I applaud Arizona for this law. If the federal government won't do what needs to be done to deport illegals and secure US borders, state governments have every right to do whatever they feel is necessary.

    I speak of Hispanics here only because this is an Arizona state law: if Hispanic citizens had been more concerned with their illegal counterparts' crimes all along, perhaps there would be no need for such a law. A huge part of the problem is that many immigrants – legal and illegal – identify ethnically and linguistically first and politically second (if at all). That is, Hispanics is America too often view US immigration law as the white man's rules designed specifically to oppress and discriminate against them. This mentality is creating a growing fifth column in America that must not be tolerated.

    April 26, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    yeah, Janet Nowpollingtano. Let's hear it. The race card? Gee, from Democrats? Nahhhhh. rofl

    Poor Democrats so desperate to try to spin their constant failures, their race card playing is now a top selling game!

    Because for 1 1/2 the Obama admin has IGNORED the border, allowing countless illegals from around the world to enter, and Weary Barry is embarrassed, yet again, except he can't put "Dead Or Alive" tag on the Governor, they resort to attacking the persons doing something.

    Too bad Arizona isn't know for a heavy Black population, Obama could say "it's typical white". So, now them Dem's embarrass themselves further to claim that they believe all illegals must be Mexican instead.

    People, enough is enough, start doing your job and stop blaming and plalying games.

    You know, Obama took an oath to defend our country. He has ignored 5 requests from Governor of Arizona. A Rancher has been killed. Crime and drug lords are moving in, plus all the other illegals, regardless of their intent. Sounds life good reasons for impeachment of Obama to me.

    April 26, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  13. Shane from NC

    This move, whether good or bad, is a clear demonstration that our border states have waited long enough for the Federal government to take action on this issue. While I don't think this was the right approach to solving the illegal immigration problem we, as Americans, must realize that very few people are natives of this country and most of us relied on the immigration of our ancestors so that we can enjoy the liberties and freedoms of today. Congress needs to take each issue one at a time, but prioritizing the problems that face our great nation is the only way we'll move swiftly in the right direction. I would hope that our political leaders soon realize that to move forward in politics means to compromise, and with that, good solutions can be discovered. God Bless these United States.

    April 26, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  14. Edward

    Napolitano was a dismal failure as Governor of Arizona. That is one reason the situation has gotton so bad in that state.

    Napolitano is a failure as "Home Land Security" Czar as well. Look at her record, failures to address airport security issues, failures to stop flow of illegal aliens, many of which are terrorists groomed in the Mideast and failure to address the influx of dangerous Muslim extremists in the US military.

    Napolitano has no background in security, she is a political hack appointed for her support of Obamas campaign for President. We all will be a lot safer and secure, when she resigns or is thrown out and replaced with someone with ability.

    She is incompetent

    April 26, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. walleye

    So, if a car full of Puerto Ricans from NY were driving through Arizona to visit the Grand Canyon how will they prove they were born in THE BRONX, USA??? This is a dumb law that will create more problems than it solves. We need to FIX the immigration laws we currently have.

    April 26, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  16. Linda

    yeah, Janet Nowpollingtano. Let's hear it. The race card? Gee, from Democrats? Nahhhhh. rofl

    Poor Democrats so desperate to try to spin their constant failures, their race card playing is now a top selling game!

    Because for 1 1/2 the Obama admin has IGNORED the border, allowing countless illegals from around the world to enter, and Weary Barry is embarrassed, yet again, except he can't put "Dead Or Alive" tag on the Governor, they resort to attacking the persons doing something.

    Too bad Arizona isn't know for a heavy Black population, Obama could say "it's typical white". So, now them Dem's embarrass themselves further to claim that they believe all illegals must be Mexican instead.

    People, enough is enough, start doing your job and stop blaming and plalying games.

    You know, Obama took an oath to defend our country. He has ignored 5 requests from Governor of Arizona. A Rancher has been killed. Crime and drug lords are moving in, plus all the other illegals, regardless of their intent. Sounds life good reasons for impeachment of Obama to me.

    April 26, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  17. Fitz in Texas

    The only thing "misguided" is Janet Napolitano and her boss. Janet Napolitano just needs to sit down and shut up.

    As for Gov. Jan Brewer.....job well done!!!!!!

    April 26, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "The law requires immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times "

    You forgot the part about it implicitly requiring all non-immigrant, non-alien brown people to carry their proof of citizenship at all times. You know, if they'd like to avoid getting hauled downtown any time they have a run-in with the police or even in other situations...say, a speeding ticket/stop, being present at a noisy house party that got a noice complaint, looking "suspicious" around a police officer, living in the ghetto, having a low rider and playing loud music in it, applying for a job, being a janitor, etc.

    April 26, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  19. sensible Cape Coral Fl

    Isn't that what they did in Nazi Germany to identify the Jews?

    April 26, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  20. Hongli

    It's about time that Janet stands up for the Hispanic and it's about time the Hispanic hold one head and one vote and get rid of John McCain from Arizona. Remember all you Hispanic ,McCain voted against President Obama's pick for the High Court.

    April 26, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  21. MadMommy

    The United States is dying from bleeding heart disease.

    April 26, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    Forgot to add these to the list: random acts of farming/gardening, selling oranges/fruit/anything from a cart, lining up for day work/per diem jobs, etc. God forbid you're a brown CITIZEN doing any of those things without proof of your CITIZENSHIP on you during a massive economic downturn that cost the country 10M or so jobs.

    Unreasonable searches? Check. Next up, unreasonable seizures. Helloooo, Arizooona...we're waiting....

    April 26, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  23. Jim,Virginia

    This lady doesn't have a clue as why most Americans are upset about ilegal immigrants being in this country.Heck,she can't even deal with terrorists being in this country.For her to critizise Arizona for doing what the federal government should be doing is absurd !!!

    April 26, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  24. jeff jackson, alabama

    She had an opportunity to come up with
    ideas while she was Governor of Arizona.
    She failed at it. Something needs doing
    and it's about 30 years late.

    April 26, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  25. Tim

    Keep passing these kinds of bills. It's the only thing that will get movement on the issue. Send the lawbreakers home, they don't belong here.

    April 26, 2010 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
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