MARCH 30, 2009
Weeks after the nation’s Homeland Security Secretary blasted immigration officials for arresting illegal aliens who used fake documents to work at a Washington state engine plant she has suspended all similar enforcement operations.
Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano has indefinitely postponed a series of scheduled immigration raids and other enforcement actions, ordering her agency to scrutinize the selection and investigation targets as well as the timing of the planned raids. Among the cancelled actions was a plan to raid businesses at a Chicago military facility where as many as 100 illegal immigrants work.
Napolitano was furious when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents busted dozens of illegal aliens last month at an engine plant in the northwest Washington city of Bellingham. Nearly 30 of them had used fake documents, including made-up or stolen Social Security numbers, to gain employment.
Instead of commending ICE for doing its job, Napolitano chastised agency supervisors and ordered a swift investigation into the worksite raid because it broke President Barack Obama’s promise to the influential “La Raza” movement—that undocumented workers won’t be arrested. Immigration advocates say workplace raids are discriminatory, inhumane and they violate illegal aliens’ due process rights.
Napolitano has a documented history of opposing immigration enforcement. As Arizona governor she vetoed several key laws to curb illegal immigration, including measures to cut illegal alien benefits like public assistance and in-state college tuition as well as a proposal to allow cooperation between local police and federal immigration officials. She also killed legislation that would have officially rejected the easily forged Mexican Matricula Consular card as a valid form of identification.
Now she heads the massive agency—that encompasses Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, Citizenships and Immigration Services and the Transportation Security Administration—that keeps the nation safe from foreign threats.
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