April 26th, 2010
01:16 PM ET
10 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. nini

    The Secretary of Homeland Insecurity.

    I think the law goes too far but I don't agree with lawlessness either.


    April 26, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  2. Victim of GOP Taliban

    As in the case of the Patriot Act...the State of AZ will now set a legal precedent used to justify harassment of American citizens and make it one step closer to a fascist-Conservative police state.

    April 26, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  3. Andi

    I don't understand why it's such a bother for the Feds to go after businesses that hire illegals? Wouldn't that be much simpler? Guess they don't want to anger 'businesses'....

    April 26, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  4. willard bullock

    I am not argreed with napolition

    April 26, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  5. John independent from NY

    Let arizona do what they want stuff it Janet

    April 26, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  6. southerncousin

    As a former governor of the state, she failed to enforce current law, as Homeland Security, she has failed to enforce current law. Sounds like she is a failure working for a failed administration. I am sure if it was some sort of Bush thing, or maybe Goldman Sachs, the Obama administration would have been all over it and smarmy, sliperry Carl Levin would have been releasing the e-mails for political advantage. It is the crooked, slimy, democratic libertard way of life.

    April 26, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  7. Jayne

    I am an American citizen who happens to have a brown complexion. I will NEVER, I repeat NEVER go to Arizona. I don't want to be asked randomly if I belong in this country. This is not Nazi Germany yet.

    April 26, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  8. Felicia Rolley

    What the lliberals in DC can't get through their heads is that the US government is ruled by the PEOPLE, not the federal government members.

    April 26, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  9. Dave

    Here's a thought. Why not punish every business that hires illegal immigrants with a one million dollar fine per days worked? No possibility to make money, then no illegal immigrants. But republicans will not consider that.

    April 26, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  10. Ken in NC

    If you are not a Natural born White citizen of Arizona then leave the state and let them see how easy it is to run their state and do the work themselves. Make Arizona a "Whites Only State". See how long that last.

    Those were hateful things to say but that is what this country is reverting to again. It is so sad.

    April 26, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  11. southerner

    I can just see how much havoc a bunch of kids can have with this law. Drive around without their driver's licenses and just speak Spanish. Put one white guy in a van with a bunch of Spanish looking kids. The civil disobedience the Church can do with this is astounding.

    Why not just have the INS and ICE do their job? They don't come when you call....they don't pick up people at the places the illegals gather for work, they don't go after the workplaces, hit ANY Mexican restaurant, any construction site, any meat plant. Put managers in jail. Have them sit until they can see a judge.Say a week or a few.

    April 26, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  12. tim

    Sounds like the Nazi's in 1933.

    Will the Teabaggers point it out ?

    Nahhhh....it's the right wing–so it's ok!!

    Ahhh, the hypocrisy.

    April 26, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  13. Four and The Door

    Napolitano said the law is evidence a comprehensive federal immigration plan is needed.
    This is Arizona's point exactly. Somebody has to deal with the issue and if Obama is trying to avoid making a decision on this, I say good luck 'Organizing' your way out of it. Sometimes you just have to deal with stuff, even if it costs your party a few easy votes when you desperately need them. Like in November.

    April 26, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  14. fay perseo

    I was born in the USA and was detained at the Nogales border while my fair friends were allowed to cross into the USA, I am Latin, and I was glad that they checked my identity before allowing me to re-enter. We need the protection against criminals, etc. My grandparents went through the proper channels via our immigration laws and became proud citizens of the USA. Also, so must stop trafficking and smuggling of Latinos/drugs from Mexico which causes the lives of many. Many innocent Mexican children, women and men are taken advantage of and murdered trying to get into the USA. Along with Policemen and others through crimes caused by illegal alien criminals. Please be informed of truth and care for the welfare of many. I am open to your opinions. Something has to be done regarding this matter. McCain suggested tracking, this may be a good option. DO NOT TAKE IT AS A RACE ISSUE, WE MUST STOP ALL THIS BIGOT/SEGRATED THINKING. The news media does not help. THANK YOU FOR ALL CONSIDERATIONS AND ACKNOWLEDGMENT IN THIS MATTER.

    April 26, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  15. Terry From West Texas

    This is not a law; it is just a campaign stunt. The law, I predict, will not change anything in Arizona at all. There are about 400,000 illegal aliens in Arizona.

    I predict that a few car washes will be raided and upwards of a dozen Mexicans will be handed over to US Immigration for processing through the courts. I predict a Chinese restaurant will be raided and three or more waitresses will be briefly detained and released. I predict that an enterprise named Chuy's Body Shop will be raided and both employees will be detained.

    However, the true criminals will be untouched. They are:
    1. The Arizona employers who knowingly break state and federal law by hiring illegals by the hundreds
    2.The farmers will be untouched
    3. The well-to-do housewives of Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff will still have their illegal maids and yard men.
    4. The hotel and restaurant industry will be untouched.

    True (and I have read the 17 page law), there is a fine of $1000 for employing an illegal, so that it is actually cheaper to hire illegal immigrants and pay the fine than it is to hire Americans. However, I predict that by election day, not one major employer will have been touched. Not one housewife will do community service.

    However, there will definitely be some raids about a week before election day, led by state legislators and sheriffs all running for re-election. Those fearless enforcers of the law will probably lead two deputies and fifty TV cameramen into some strip club and arrest a few dancers.

    April 26, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  16. SLO129

    Napolitano was not great a securing the borders while we lived in AZ. Something needs to be done. For two years I could not find a job in AZ! The reason I could not find a job was because I did not speak spanish, nor was I interested in learning the language. I am a US Citizen and speak English. Why do I have to learn spanish in my own country. Than Walmart comes in and builds a Spanish Only Walmart. I"m all for coming to America.........come through the front door.

    April 26, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  17. jenn, philadelphia

    Before this law was passed, it was illegal for the police to even ask someone they had arrested to prove citizenship. Maybe there should be something in the middle between what was and what is now the law? California is going bankrupt, paying vendors with i.o.u.s One of the reasons is the high cost of education, medical treatment and incarceration of illegals. Something needs to be done and if the federal government won't step up, then those states most effected must.

    April 26, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  18. Judy

    I support this law. If you are here legally you have nothing to fear and if you're not you should go home and enter legally.

    April 26, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  19. usafirefly

    The illegal people in the United States, more than the population of Canada, is a serious homeland security problem. Drastic problems take drastic measures don't they? Are the children born to illegal people in U.S. going to have all the rights and privileges of American citizens?

    April 26, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  20. db

    Napolitano can say what ever she wants about the Arizona law, but if she attempts to use the power of her office to nullify it, she'll be doing real violence to federalism.

    April 26, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  21. BILL, WI

    ".....evidence a comprehensive federal immigration plan is needed."

    You think!

    April 26, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  22. scott

    well janet if u would of stay governor of arizona it would of never happen n the first place!!!

    April 26, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  23. Julianne

    Republicans support the draconian AZ law but don't want to work in the Congress to overhaul the federal immigration laws. These folks aren't obstructionist, they are impossible! America beware of these wolves in "No" clothing.

    April 26, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  24. American Patriot -- a "real" tea partier

    We have to protect our borders, there's no doubt about that.
    We have to know who's in the country, there's no doubt about that.

    However, the very fact that this law is worded the way it is scares the crap out of me. It's reminiscent of 1930's Germany, and we shouldn't have to deal with neo-fascist nonsense since Bush is no longer in the White House.

    April 26, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  25. Shermani

    Janet Napolitano was a horrific governor, prior to her being a horrific secretary of homeland security. Then again this is par for this administration. Zero experience, zero accountability, and zero change from the old school democrat way of thinking. November 2nd is getting closer, and closer. I can hardly wait for a changing of the guard in the house and senate. Then we can focus on November 2012! Help is on the way!

    April 26, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
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