In response to Janet Napolitano’s departure from the Department of Homeland Security, Pablo Alvarado, executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network issued the following statement:
“Security Janet Napolitano oversaw the Arizonification of the country during her tenure at DHS. Under her watch, DHS operated with a self-imposed deportation quota, a fact that remains one of the most underreported scandals of President Obama’s first term. The unprecedented removal of immigrants overseen by Janet Napolitano corresponded with criminalization programs such as Se Communities that endangered public safety, trampled civil rights, and further shattered already broken and unjust immigration laws. Secretary Napolitano will ultimately be remembered as having spread the shameful infection of nativism from her home state of Arizona into national immigration policy.
With her departure, the President should expand the one bright spot in an otherwise abysmal record. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) granted much needed relief to a small segment of the immigrant community and showed that administrative action can improve the prospects for legislative results. Expanding DACA to the rest of the undocumented community is a necessary step to reverse the pain caused by Napolitano’s DHS, and it would be a helpful advance for reform efforts.
Moreover, the next Secretary should listen to Congressional leaders and freeze deportations, at a minimum for all who would qualify for legalization under S744. Finally, we expect the next Secretary to take immediate steps to reverse the damage caused by Se Communities. That program should be scrapped, disavowed, and filed away in history books along with other failed mass deportation programs.”