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Napolitano Expresses Concern About Key Part of Ariz. Immigration Law: 'Will Make DHS’ Work More Challenging'

3:13 PM, Jun 25, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Department of Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano celebrated the Supreme Court's Arizona decision in a statement. But Napolitano expressed concern in a statement that a key component of the law, which allows law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of folks who are stopped, saying that it "will make DHS' work more challenging."

Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano

Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano

"I am pleased that the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that state laws cannot dictate the federal government’s immigration enforcement policies or priorities," Napolitano said in a statement. "DHS remains focused on enhancing public safety and the integrity of our border by prioritizing enforcement resources on those who are in the country unlawfully and committing crimes, those who have repeatedly violated our immigration laws, and those who recently crossed our borders illegally."

Napolitano continued: "The Court’s decision not to strike down Section Two at this time will make DHS’ work more challenging. Accordingly, DHS will implement operational enhancements to its programs in Arizona to ensure that the agency can remain focused on its priorities."

Section Two is the part of the Arizona immigration law that was upheld today by the Supreme Court and which allows law enforcement officials to check the immigration status of those who are already stopped or in custody.

The DHS secretary also maintained that, "Over the past three and half years, this Administration has dedicated unprecedented resources to secure the border and to enforcing our nation’s immigration laws in a firm and reasonable fashion. We continue to urge Congress to pass comprehensive reform because nothing short of a comprehensive solution will resolve the current patchwork of immigration laws. Finally, it is important to note that today’s Supreme Court decision will not impact the memorandum I issued on June 15th related to prosecutorial discretion eligibility for productive members of society who were brought to the United States as children."

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