Napolitano says immigration reform next year

By Eric Zimmermann
The Hill

The administration will push for major immigration reform in 2010, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said today.

Napolitano said the administration will urge a “three-legged stool” approach: enforcement, paths to citizenship for undocumented workers, and “improved legal flows for families and workers.”

The secretary said her department has ratcheted up enforcement, marking a “fundamental change” since 2007. Increased enforcement should pave the way for legislative changes, she argued.

“Let me emphasize this: we will never have fully effective law enforcement or national security as long as so many millions remain in the shadows,” she said.

Read Napolitano’s full remarks here.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, responded incredulously to Napolitano’s remarks.

“How can they allow 12 million illegal immigrants to take jobs that should go to citizens and legal immigrants?” he said, citing the estimated number of undocumented workers in the country. “And how can they claim that enforcement is ‘done’ when there are more than 400 open miles of border with Mexico, hundreds of thousands of criminal and fugitive aliens and millions of illegal immigrants taking American jobs?”

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