ACRU Senior Legal Analyst Jan LaRue wrote this column appearing October 11, 2010 on The American Thinker website.
If you thought Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano’s silly remarks and bungling couldn’t get any worse, you must have missed her performance on Fox’s O’Reilly Factor last Wednesday night.
The woman in charge of our immigration enforcement said she “doesn’t know” what to do about the country’s celebrity illegal alien, Nicky Diaz, former housekeeper for California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman. Hang on — it gets ditzier. Secretary Napolitano told Mr. O’Reilly that “obviously this is ultimately a matter for California voters to decide.”
I’m guessing the Arizona folks have a question for her: “Madam Secretary, if it’s ‘ultimately a matter for California voters to decide’ what to do about an illegal immigrant, why can’t we? By the way, Gov. Jan Brewer loves your answer.”
Last May, Napolitano called Arizona’s new immigration law a “bad law enforcement law” after telling Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that she had not “reviewed” it “in detail,” according to CNSNews. Napolitano fully supports the Department of Justice’s lawsuit to enjoin enforcement of the law.
Here’s the transcript of Bill O’Reilly questioning the flummoxed Secretary Napolitano:
O’REILLY: All right, now we got to go to the Nicky Diaz situation. As you know she was illegal alien, who worked for Meg Whitman who is running for governor of California for nine years. She comes out. She admits to the nation she had a bogus Social Security number and was employed for nine years. She lied to an employment agency in California. That’s how she got to Mrs. Whitman’s house in the first place. Now, what is Homeland Security/ICE going to do about her?
JANET NAPOLITANO, HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY: You know, I don’t know the answer to that question.
O’REILLY: Shouldn’t you know it Madam Secretary? You are in charge and this is a huge case. Shouldn’t you know the answer to that question?
NAPOLITANO: Well, I will know it at some point. But, I don’t know it right now. I mean I think obviously this is ultimately a matter for California voters to decide in terms…
O’REILLY: It’s a federal matter. No. No. No. No. I mean sure, the election between Brown and Whitman in California —
O’REILLY: But, this is a federal matter. And, this is why it’s important because this is the highest profile illegal alien situation that we have had here in this country for years. Everybody is locked in on this woman. And, I’m not taking an editorial position. I’m not going to tell you what to do. That would be insulting and I wouldn’t do that.
However, the folks want to know what the federal government is going to do about this because it sends a message to all the other people using bogus Social Security cards that are hurting the country, Madam Secretary.
NAPOLITANO: Indeed. And, what I am saying is we don’t have a decision made right now that I could tell you. But, I can tell you this. I can tell you that our efforts over the past 19 months have resulted in more people being deported who have used bogus social security numbers who have criminal records who have committed crimes than in any other period in our nation’s history.
Madame Napolitano’s flippant response to O’Reilly reveals not only how unprepared she is as Secretary of DHS, but also that she doesn’t consider vigorous, consistent enforcement of federal immigration statutes a priority.
Secretary Napolitano appeared with O’Reilly to take credit for the Obama administration deporting more criminal illegal aliens than were deported the last year of the Bush administration. However, according to Catherine Rampell of The New York Times, there’s a bit more to the story:
Most of the increase in deportations has been concentrated in one category of aliens: those who have committed crimes other than being in the United States illegally.
Indeed, the Obama administration has been devoting more resources to directly targeting this population, and in particular noncitizens who have committed “serious crimes” (which includes things like national security violations, homicide and sexual assault); in the first quarter of 2010, 43 percent of I.C.E. detainees had committed crimes in the United States, a higher portion than in previous years:
Indeed, the number of criminal aliens removed by I.C.E. has broken all records. But meanwhile the total number of aliens deported just for overstaying their visas or crossing the border illegally — a group that includes the students detailed in Julia [Preston’s] article — has dropped for the first time in the last five years.
Nicky Diaz admittedly entered the country illegally, committed perjury on her employment agency application, and used a “bogus Social Security number” (Hello, Madame Secretary!) to secure employment, both federal felonies. Diaz qualifies for deportation even under Obama’s one free bite immigration policy.
Diaz also fits the “registration” scenario for illegal aliens described in an internal draft memo to Napolitano’s subordinate, Alejandro N. Mayorkas, director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), from four staff members. It advises him that the USCIS, under certain provisions of the “Immigration and Nationality Act,” may, among other remedies, “develop and implement a registration program for individuals who are unlawfully present in the U.S.”
Certain members of Congress call the “registration” remedy “amnesty.” You know the type, “racists” and “nativists.”
But, Secretary Napolitano promised Bill O’Reilly that she’d figure out what to do about Nicky Diaz and get back to him.
Will it be deportation or “registration”? Who thinks Madame Napolitano will have an answer by Nov. 2?
Maybe the Obamedia will be finished with their fixation on Tea Party racists and Christine O’Donnell’s witch hat in time to cover the Madame’s return appearance with O’Reilly. They certainly couldn’t be bothered with the last one.
If Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano is competent to “secure the nation from the many threats we face,” Ms. O’Donnell should be perfectly qualified to head up the Atomic Energy Commission, should she lose the Senate race in Delaware.