Napolitano Scraps Border Security as Pre-Condition for Amnesty

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano last Tuesday reaffirmed the Obama administration’s opposition to securing the border before granting amnesty to the roughly 12 million illegal aliens in the United States.  At an event hosted by the Christian Science Monitor on Tuesday, Secretary Napolitano said the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would not develop an official metric for measuring border security. (Christian Science Monitor, Mar. 26, 2013)

Napolitano also argued against including any “trigger” in amnesty legislation that delays the issuance of green cards to illegal aliens until certain border security measures are taken. Claiming that doing so would create too much uncertainty for illegal aliens, she said the inclusion of a “trigger” is “not the way to go.” (TPM, Mar. 26, 2013)  “There needs to be certainty in the bill so that people know when they can legalize and then when the pathway to citizenship, earned citizenship, would open up,” said Napolitano. (Id.)

Napolitano’s refusal to develop a border security metric is in direct contradiction to her October 2011 testimony before Congress and repeated promises administration officials have made to Members of Congress.  In 2011, Secretary Napolitano told the House Judiciary Committee “it was clear that [Homeland Security] must focus on more comprehensive and accurate measurements of the state of border security.” (Napolitano Testimony, Oct. 25, 2011) She promised members of the House Judiciary committee that Customs and Border Protection was in the process of creating a measure that would holistically “capture the ‘state’ or ‘condition’ of the border” and would reflect “the big picture.” (Id.) In fact, Napolitano said, “Defining success at the border is critical to how we move forward,” and promised the index would be ready in early 2012. (Id.)

Napolitano’s statements Tuesday not only contradict her testimony to Congress, they reaffirm that the Obama administration does not want any method of measuring border security to interfere with an amnesty program it hopes to ram through Congress this spring. Just last week, DHS officials admitted to The New York Times that the Department had not developed an official metric for measuring border security over the past three years “because the president did not want any hurdles placed on the pathway to eventual citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally.” (The New York Times, Mar. 21, 2013)

Notably, the White House did nothing to distance itself from Napolitano’s statements. When asked at the White House Press briefing Tuesday about Napolitano’s refusal to develop an official metric of border security, White House Spokesman Jay Carney danced around the issue. “I think what [Napolitano] was saying — and the assessment we do agree with — is that there are a variety of metrics by which you can measure, and we do measure, progress on border security. And these are metrics that others use to measure border security, including Democrats and Republicans in the Senate and beyond the Senate, beyond the Congress. So we’re working with Congress on this, with the Senate on this. Progress has been made. Border security is one of the key principles that the President has put forward that has to be part of comprehensive immigration reform.”  (White House transcript, Mar. 26, 2013)(emphasis added)

In contrast, FAIR decried Napolitano’s remarks. “It is crystal clear that the Obama administration wants to eliminate any impediment to granting amnesty to illegal aliens,” said Dan Stein, president of the FAIR. “And led by Secretary Janet Napolitano, the Department of Homeland Security is systematically laying the ground work to remove any obstacles.” (FAIR press release, Mar. 26, 3013)

Stein further warned Members of Congress that they should think very carefully whether they are willing to support amnesty legislation under these conditions. “Why should Congress prioritize amnesty for illegal aliens over border security?” he asked. “That is not in the interest of the Americans they represent. And the notion that the Obama administration will secure the border and enforce immigration laws in the future is downright laughable if it refuses to even develop a way to measure border security.” (Id.)

About Author


Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar
    Mass Immigration Is Unsustainable on

    “the president did not want any hurdles placed on the pathway to eventual citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally”

    Hmm…considering that these “hurdles”, “triggers”, etc. are an absolute sham, to walk away from a mass legalization deal based on the presence of these fraudulent “requirements” shows that maybe you want to keep the issue alive awhile longer and NOT have a law pass.

  2. avatar


  3. avatar

    I see that Lindsey graham was on tv today talking about how we will rush to help defend south korea should north korea attack. Seems to me that alot of these politicians, like him and McCain(Libya and Syria) are always so eager to get this country involved in conflicts around the world, putting the lives of our young military people at risk. And when our young people are on the other side of the world risking their lives because the politicians think they should, these same politicians are back here worrying about their political parties and careers and trying to pass an amnesty. Just like me, many of these young people who are the in military joined straight out of high school. They are very bright people, but just never had the oppurtunity to get a higher education. So when these soldiers get out of the military and after risking their lives, they will have to compete with illegal aliens for jobs, because the illegals are not going to keep working in the fields once they get their work permits. From the way I hear on tv the illegals will get work permits to work whereever they want as soon as an amnesty is passed. That’s just not right.

  4. avatar

    Why légalise 11 millions illégal immigrant for what reason to give them our country please let’s stop Obama before hé ll bankrupcy our nation

  5. avatar

    What do the Mexicans do with illegals in their country? JAIL…No rights just JAIL.

  6. avatar

    Here’s news: A former illegal Mexican who was granted amnesty 25 years ago (anyone remember that program?) told me that the “underground” rule is wait for the dopes in Washington to tire and they will do it again when there are too many of us to deal with.

    So, I would say that the “gang of eight” (whatever) go to the border and enter Mexico as illegals through the same holes in the fence created by the Mexican illegals and turn themselves into the authorities and then see what the Mexicans have in store for them…Jail. Wake up America!

  7. avatar

    The final decision for border control and border security has already been “written in the script” by this administration. This administration will do NOTHING that poses a chance to jeopardize a key goal…to cater to future Latino voters. Every immigrant finding his or her way into the U.S. under the radar is deemed a most-sure vote for the Democrats, especially considering the bennies that will be provided to them, once here. Big Sis Napolitano is a pathetic puppet of the puppet master himself and shows basically no motivation or sense of urgency to this critical issue. She has not done and will not do anything in the interest of common sense nor for the good of the U.S. in as far as border security. She cannot even stay on message with her testimony to Congress in completing metrics to measure border security. She obviously has her marching orders from BO. This administration puts votes, elections, power, and social engineering ahead of the critical needs of this country and will stop at NOTHING to avoid or dismantle roadblocks to their agendas. It’s shameful…and beyond the pale.

  8. avatar

    The question that I have for the so call conservatives in Washington is, when are you going to wake up, take forceful steps to save our country?

  9. avatar

    It is clear that DHLS Napolitano is not working for the security and protection of US citizens but for what is politically epideint for Obama and his agenda to naturalize miilions of illegal aliens and garner more future Democratic voters. If this is not contrary to the Constitution and the oath that these politicians took when sworn in, I guess nothing else is. We have been deceived and lied to over and over again. America is about to surrender it’s sovereingty.

  10. avatar

    what our elected officials are doing is CRIMINAL! i’m convinced the government is trying to bankrupt the nation of money as well as morals. the ship is going down fast.

  11. avatar

    On gun control, “if we can’t take away guns, we’ll take away bullets”. On the North American Union, “if we can’t erase the border, we’ll leave it wide open”. On balancing the budget, “let’s fund a project to see why some lesbians are fat”. It’s all about the ruination of our country. No one in our government is trying to stop it so we remain unrepresented.

  12. avatar
    nihad mohamed on

    We the legal immigrants cannot find work,,,we need to have work to pay bills,rent electricity,,health insurance,,food ,medication,,traffic,,,,etc. Illegal immigrants have to leave USA otherwise any person offering them shelter or work opportunities could be under under the law probation and go to prison,,exactly as people helping terriers.they don’t pay any taxes for the well being of the services offered to public through education,traffic,road construction,,,etc. Nobody ever ever put conditions, threat,or fear USA officials to pass any law against its will,,and against the right of the wellbeing of USA citizens or legal immigrants. This is a sort of indirect threat and terrorism’s,,,we can protect our nation and borders,,,they will never ever be the new Osama bn laden to threat governmental offices to pass a law against USA willing

  13. avatar
    Anne Latella on

    Janet Napolitano is incompetent. She needs to be fired at once. She is a big contributor toward the coming total downfall of the United States.

    • avatar
      Marty Dillian on

      No Anne, Janet Napolitano is not incompetent. She knows exactly what she is doing, as does President Obama and every other Marxist czar he has appointed. Evil, yes. Ignorant, no! I’ll leave it to you to figure out what that is. Same goes for Congress. They could have stopped all of this crap long ago, years ago, if they themselves were not complicit. The same is true of the Federal Reserve. The same is true of Obama’s appointments to the Federal Courts. It is important that you, and every other American figure this out for themselves – rather than being told like some mindless robot. Until you ‘get it’, you won’t stand up to stop ‘it’ – which is why we as a nation are where we are. **** in there. Give it some thought. While our present situation may prove to be nation-ending, it’s not complicated. Marty (retired US Armed Forces)

  14. avatar
    John Thiesfeld on

    The purpose of the trigger is to ensure that one problem is fixed before we attempt (and probably fail) at fixing another related problem. The reason the United States is so desirable to Mexico is because we have more resources and freedoms here. We need to protect these resources and freedoms, but if we do not, the U.S. like Mexico, will fall into poverty, depression and crime and no longer be the great place it used to be. To do this, we need to protect the border first before we allow amnesty to the immigrants that have already gotten here illegally.

    • avatar

      To REALLY insure these freedoms and resources, John, we need to deport those who are here illegally. We also need to retroactively eliminate birthright citizenship, put our military on the border and stop legal immigration until all Americans are employed. Unless these drastic measures are taken, we will, as you say, fall into the poverty, depression and crime that typifies Mexico. When we go down, everyone goes down.

      Despite the continual whining of pro-illegal advocates that “we can’t send 11 million people home,” no one has explained why not. It can be done by several methods. And if we can’t think of a way, we need to lose our status as the greatest country on earth. We transported troops all over the world during war time. Why are we afraid to send criminals home?

      • avatar
        John Thiesfeld on

        I agree with you, we should also deport the illegals as well. In my opinion I think the priority should be to plug the leak first, then dump out the water, if you catch my meaning. Otherwise we will be continually dumping the water out of the leaking boat and never accomplishing anything as we go.

  15. avatar
    Spencer Lofland on

    Does anybody see what the Democrats are doing.
    The USA can not suport all these people.
    Another step for O to ruin the USofA.

  16. avatar

    Only BO would appoint and retain an utter incompetent like Nap, while all U.S. citizens suffer the consequences! Please tell me there is a way to remove both these POS’s from OUR government, before they do any more damage to this country?

    • avatar


  17. avatar

    They want to insist that amnesty be passed with no assurances of any enforcement, whether it’s border security or workplace enforcement. Why should not those things be passed ANYWAY in a separate bill? We actually have to argue about whether the laws of this country should be enforced? That they have to be held hostage to an amnesty? It becomes more obvious every day that we are seeing is nothing but the usual double dealing on this issue. More reasons to turn this whole deal down. Because there will be no satisfying the pro amnesty side. Meeting one demand will simply bring more. Like all their relatives coming here.

    • avatar
      Bruno Francis on

      The number #1 role of our federal government is to protect and serve the Citizens of the United States of America from domestic and foreign enemies. Our federal government is a complete failure with respect to either party. Our government could care less about border security, illegal alien invasion and allowing anchor babies to steal monies from social security by paying for food-food stamps, clothing, HUD housing-shelter, medical care-Medicare-medical-free medical, car allowances and etc. All the federal government wants is destroy the American way by not enforcing our Rule of Law, Constitutional Laws and our Bill of Rights.

    • avatar


  18. avatar

    Janet Can Continue Her Time Wasting Cribbage Game with ICE on Government Time

    And continue to do practically nothing about IAs….she’s scrapping something [border security] she never hardly did anyway.