(CNN) – Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said on Sunday that the United States is “never going to be totally immune from threats” to its national security.
One day after the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Napolitano said in an interview with CNN’s Candy Crowley on "State of the Union" that the country is safer now than it was then, but added, “there is no 100 percent guarantee” that we won’t be attacked again.
Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff echoed Napolitano’s assessment.
“We have reduced the risk, we have not eliminated the risk,” Chertoff told Crowley on Sunday.
Napolitano said a small number of American citizens have become “radicalized to violence,” but said that it is “not unique” to the United States, “nor was it unanticipated that that could occur.”
Washington (CNN) – Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said Friday that Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert "is so off the mark" in his assertion that terrorists are plotting to conceive babies in the United States so they can grow up to kill Americans.
The Republican congressman first made the claim on June 24, while discussing on the House floor what he felt were serious gaps in our border enforcement.
"They [terrorists] would have young women who became pregnant, would get them into the United States to have a baby-they wouldn't even have to pay anything for the baby-and then they would return back where they could be raised and coddled as future terrorists," Gohmert said. "And then one day, 20, 30 years down the road, they could be sent in to help destroy our way of life."
Related video: Anderson Cooper and Louie Gohmert debate 'terror babies'
Napolitano, in a Friday interview on CNN's The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, said that she has seen no evidence of such a plot.
Watch the full interview after the jump
(CNN) - The White House is weighing in on the recent call from some top Republicans to change a potion of the constitution that grants automatic citizenship to children of illegal immigrants born in the United States, calling the suggestion "just wrong."
"I am surprised, to say the least, that discussion is being had about amending the United States Constitution before we even get to the table on amending the statutes that actually carry out immigration policy," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told reporters Friday. "I think that's where the action needs to be. And any talk of amending the Constitution is just wrong."
Napolitano's comments come in response to suggestions from several leading GOP senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 2008 presidential nominee John McCain, and Lindsay Graham that the part of the 14th Amendment which allows for birthright citizenship should be studied more closely.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - Lawmakers on Monday questioned two federal officials about the government's response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Janet Napolitano, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, and Rear Admiral Peter Neffenger of the Coast Guard, are testifying before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs about how the government is handling the disaster.
The explosion of one of BP's deepwater drill rigs, located 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana, has resulted in one of the worst oil spills in U.S. history.
Full story on CNNMoney.com
Authorities are also trying to keep the slick from reaching land, and preparing to clean it up immediately if it does make landfall, she said on CNN's American Morning.
Washington (CNN) - Arizona's controversial immigration law is a "cry of frustration" by state and local officials who need comprehensive federal immigration reform, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Sunday.
In appearances on morning talk shows, Napolitano criticized the law as a hindrance to law enforcement and said only an overall approach will work.
The law "puts everybody at risk" by diverting attention of police and sheriffs from higher-priority crimes, Napolitano told the CNN program "State of the Union."
"There was no surprise to me that experienced individuals like the Pima County sheriff, who is the longest standing sheriff in Arizona, he is in Tucson, 100 miles from the border, has said he doesn't want this new law, he doesn't need it, and he is not going to enforce it," Napolitano said.
In an interview on CNN's "State of the Union," Napolitano said it was too early to know who was responsible for leaving a vehicle laden with explosives in the symbolic heart of the nation's most populous city.
"We're taking this very seriously," Napolitano said, noting that the New York police, FBI and federal Joint Terrorism Task Force were involved in the investigation. "We're treating it as if it could be a potential terrorist
(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.
Washington (CNN) – President Obama's top homeland security official said Monday that the government has an obligation to tolerate expressions of political anger, while being ever vigilant for behavior that crosses the line into violence.
In an interview set to air Monday on CNN's The Situation Room, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano was asked whether Obama's status as the first African-American president is playing any role in motivating anti-government groups.
"It is mentioned by some, but lots of things are now being mentioned," she said. "So it's really hard to extrapolate from what a few are saying to what all are saying or what all believe.
"There's obviously a great deal of political anger out there and angry rhetoric out there. But, as I said earlier, that's something that we've had constantly in our country's history. We may not like it – don't appreciate it – but it is protected under our Constitution, under our sense of values. Where it's not protected is where you start moving into preparation for and carrying out violent acts."
Napolitano added that all levels of law enforcement have to be "leaning forward" and sharing threat information in order to minimize the chance of another event such as the Oklahoma City bombing or the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Napolitano was in Oklahoma Monday to attend a ceremony remembering victims of the bombing.
The Homeland Security secretary told CNN's Suzanne Malveaux that the Secret Service is "constantly monitoring" the safety of the president, the vice president, and their families. "That is something that there's no quarter left unspent to make that happen," she said.
Washington (CNN) - Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is in hot water for not appearing Wednesday at a congressional hearing on the failed attempt to blow up a U.S.-bound airliner on Christmas Day.
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson said the committee had been told Napolitano would be out of the country and agreed to have her deputy, Jane Holl Lute, testify in her absence.
But Thompson said he understood that Napolitano's schedule changed and she was in Washington. He said the committee should have been informed if she was unable to attend for another reason.
"It's a courtesy the committee deserves," said the chairman.