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Napolitano: “You’re Never Going to Seal That Border”

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said it is impossible to close the U.S.-Mexican border to illegal immigration, staking out a significant early Obama administration position in the upcoming immigration reform debate.

Many Republicans insist that before considering a path to legalization for undocumented workers and taking up other aspects of “comprehensive immigration reform,” the United States must act to block further illegal immigration.

However, during an appearance on PBS NewsHour, Napolitano said closing the border is impossible, a clear sign that President Obama will contest the Republicans on the sequence of reform measures and demand doing everything at once.

You know, you’re never going to seal that border. That’s not a possibility. But you can discuss border security and immigration reform simultaneously now. We don’t have to have this kind of first this, then that. At this point, they actually go together.

Napolitano insisted that the administration has already implemented a serious plan to stop illegal immigration and that the influx of undocumented workers is way down.

Look at the numbers and look at what we’ve done on border security. We have more manpower, technology – we actually have air cover now across the entire Southwest border – things that we never had before. Illegal immigration numbers are down to where they were 40 years ago.

Illegal immigration continues, but currently the number of illegal immigrants returning home is about equal to the number entering the United States. And the population of illegal immigrants in the U.S. appears to have declined.

But Napolitano also implicitly acknowledged that the decline is in part dependent on a struggling U.S. economy and an improving Mexican economy, and that the numbers could surge back up if those things change.

One of the things we need to watch for is as our economy recovers, will it become kind of a draw for illegal immigrants?

Napolitano didn’t confirm that immigration reform was next up on Obama “big things to do” list, but everyone expects him to wage a major fight for a comprehensive bill beginning the first half of next year.

Napolitano blamed Congress for the failure of immigration reform to pass during Obama’s first term.

We’ve been very committed from the first term to try to do something on immigration reform. The Hill was not able to take it up for a variety of reasons. But I think now there is a new willingness to take a look at this subject.

In fact, with both the House and Senate under Democratic control, the first two years of the Obama administration was the ideal moment for the president to move an immigration reform package, but he chose to push for Obamacare instead.

H/T to Bridget Johnson at PJ Media.

26 Responses to Napolitano: “You’re Never Going to Seal That Border”

  1. You’re right Keith. The only reason illegal immigration is down is due to obama’s crappy economy. He’s never been serious about the illegal problem…panders to them for votes (legal or not). I feel for the Border Patrol and the lack of support for them no matter what napolitano says….she’s an idiot in my opinion. If you think something is impossible then you won’t even try. She de-funded the Secure Border Initiative (SBI) which would have given the Border Patrol electronic tools to watch the SW border. Tell this to Brian Terry’s family. Amateur hour for the last four and next four years. They disgust me.

  2. I’m still waiting for that moat Preezy Revenge promised us during the agitprop speech he made in El Paso, Texas. Florida already has the gators lined up for us to fill it with…

      • That’s not my cup of TEA. I wish no harm to illegals, just want to prevent them from sneaking across the border and sucking up all the taxpayer-funded social services that are meant for needy Americans. We’ll be sure to have plenty of bilingual warning signs with pictures of the gators for the majority of illiterates who sneak across the border.

  3. “Napolitano: “You’re Never Going to Seal That Border”. . .of course not because (1) you don’t want to and (2) you haven’t even tried! We should insist that Napolitano and BHO/MO and family have to live on the border and see how they fair!

  4. We wouldn’t have to “seal” our borders from invading foreigners if we enforced our existing laws that would prevent them from getting a job and deport them when found, or if the Dems didn’t welcome them with gifts of food, housing, and medical care.

      • “Mexican authorities must keep track of every single person in the country:

        Federal, local and municipal police must cooperate with federal immigration authorities upon request, i.e., to assist in the arrests of illegal immigrants. (Article 73)

        A National Population Registry keeps track of “every single individual who comprises the population of the country,” and verifies each individual’s identity. (Articles 85 and 86)

        A national Catalog of Foreigners tracks foreign tourists and immigrants (Article 87), and assigns each individual with a unique tracking number (Article 91).

        Foreigners with fake papers, or who enter the country under false pretenses, may be imprisoned:

        Foreigners with fake immigration papers may be fined or imprisoned. (Article 116)

        Foreigners who sign government documents “with a signature that is false or different from that which he normally uses” are subject to fine and imprisonment. (Article 116)

        Foreigners who fail to obey the rules will be fined, deported, and/or imprisoned as felons:

        Foreigners who fail to obey a deportation order are to be punished. (Article 117)

        Foreigners who are deported from Mexico and attempt to re-enter the country without authorization can be imprisoned for up to 10 years. (Article 118)

        Foreigners who violate the terms of their visa may be sentenced to up to six years in prison (Articles 119, 120 and 121). Foreigners who misrepresent the terms of their visa while in Mexico — such as working with out a permit — can also be imprisoned.
        Under Mexican law, illegal immigration is a felony. The General Law on Population says,

        “A penalty of up to two years in prison and a fine of three hundred to five thousand pesos will be imposed on the foreigner who enters the country illegally.” (Article 123)

        Foreigners with legal immigration problems may be deported from Mexico instead of being imprisoned. (Article 125)

        Foreigners who “attempt against national sovereignty or security” will be deported. (Article 126)

        Mexicans who help illegal aliens enter the country are themselves considered criminals under the law:

        A Mexican who marries a foreigner with the sole objective of helping the foreigner live in the country is subject to up to five years in prison. (Article 127)

        Shipping and airline companies that bring undocumented foreigners into Mexico will be fined. (Article 132)

        All of the above runs contrary to what Mexican leaders are demanding of the United States. The stark contrast between Mexico’s immigration practices versus its American
        immigration preachings is telling. It gives a clear picture of the Mexican government’s agenda: to have a one-way immigration relationship with the United States.”

        Yep, sounds good. Let’s do THAT!

  5. This is probably out of context. Let me fix it…

    “You know, you’re never going to seal that border as long as I’M in charge of it; and even if you COULD get it done around me, my BOSS would stop you!”

  6. You know, if I was to go to my boss and say, “I can’t do the job you hired me to do, please don’t expect me to, it’s too hard”, I don’t think I’d have to worry about how hard that job is very much longer…

  7. Man on the moon- you bet
    Robot rover on Mars- you bet
    Build a decent, wall & fence through the desert and across a small river – no way!
    If there is a will there is a way- in this case there is no will, in the white house and most of congress.

  8. Rewarding the criminals for breaking our law and preventing our law enforcement from enforcing our law certainly won’t work to seal our border, now try penalizing the law breakers and giving our law enforcement encouragement to enforce our laws and I’ll bet dollars to donuts that’ll work!
    Criminal reentry is a felony so why not charge the repeat border crosser with the felony instead of yet another ride to the border so they can try and try again until they succeed in violating our border?

  9. Maybe we can’t seal the border, and maybe we can. But we could slow the flood of illegal immigration to a trickle, and encourage those who are here illegally to go home by passing a mandatory national E-Verify. They come for jobs. If they can’t get them, they will leave.

    As a liberal Democrat, I support E-Verify because they really do take jobs from Americans, as the NYT’s Nicholas Kristof explained in his column, “Compassion that Hurts” (9/apr/2006). Google it, or go here