On Saturday, Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute participated in a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalization ceremony for seven members of the military at the Statue of Liberty. She administered the Oath of Allegiance to the seven and thanked them for their service.
"The bright light of America will shine brighter on Saturday. These men and women have served their country with honor—and on Saturday, their country will honor them. Their service in defense of freedom sends the message that all can find their freedom here. Their naturalization continues our proud tradition of welcoming immigrants in the spirit of liberty. "
--Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute
The group was comprised of members of the Army, Navy, and Marines - all seven from New York. Just before the ceremony, the Deputy Secretary and the seven climbed the 354 steps to Lady Liberty's crown, among the first to do so since the 9/11 attacks.
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From CNN, on Pakistan's crackdown on the Taliban:
The Pakistani government's crackdown on the Taliban has helped U.S. security, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Friday.
Janet Napolitano says that "anything that cracks down on the Taliban helps."
"The key concept is, you just can't start protecting the homeland at the borders of
the United States," she said.Napolitano said she was in Pakistan to discuss with Pakistani leaders the fight against terrorism, as well as how the two countries share information.
Asked what impact the Pakistani government's recent crackdown on the Taliban, centered in the Swat region of North West Frontier Province, has had on U.S. security, she said, "anything that cracks down on the Taliban helps. ..."
From the Associated Press, on the upcoming H1N1 Summit:
The White House is planning a summit to talk about preparations for swine
The White House on Thursday announced details for a July 9 meeting at the National Institutes of Health. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Education Secretary Arne Duncan plan to participate. White House homeland security adviser John Brennan also plans to joint the group.
President Barack Obama will be in Italy that day attending meetings of the G-8. Sebelius says the swine flu threat could worsen in the fall and the administration wants to start a national campaign to help stem a serious outbreak.
Duncan says everyone needs to play a part in keeping the flu from spreading.
1 PM EDT
Secretary Napolitano will participate in a media availability with U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham
1050 Register Street
North Charleston, S.C.
9 AM PDT
CBP-Border Patrol Sector Chief Mike Fisher will participate in the opening ceremony of Smuggler’s Gulch
San Diego, Calif.
H1N1 now exists in over 100 countries around the world, and experts say that the virus may worsen this fall when the traditional flu season starts in the Northern Hemisphere.
Continued cooperation among all federal departments, as well as with state, local, and tribal governments and medical, academic, and business sectors (yes, all of the above) will be vital as we continue to tackle this national public health issue.
The Flu Preparedness Summit will bring government officials and health professionals, emergency managers and educators, non-profit organizations and business executives, together in one room. They'll have a forum to talk about their lessons learned from H1N1 thus far, and importantly, discuss the next steps in assessing and building on current pandemic plans.
The initial news blitz has largely subsided, but the simple fact remains that H1N1 flu is still with us. We'll keep you up-to-date on the summit, and on the department's continuing role in dealing with H1N1.
From the Latin American Herald Tribune, on the Secretary's visit to Spain:
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano started her official visit to Spain on Wednesday by honoring the victims of the March 11, 2004, terrorist attacks in Madrid.
Napolitano placed a wreath bearing the colors of the U.S. flag at the monument to the victims of the commuter-train bombings at Madrid's Atocha station that left 191 people dead.
The U.S. official observed a minute of silence at the monument along with Spain's secretary of state for security, Antonio Camacho, and Madrid Mayor Alberto Ruiz
Napolitano met with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, as well as with Spain's interior and justice ministers, to discuss cooperation in fighting illegal immigration and terrorism.
From the New York Times, on immigration enforcement:
The Obama administration began investigations of hundreds of businesses on Wednesday as part of its strategy to focus immigration enforcement on the employers who hire illegal workers.
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency told Congress in an e-mail message that it had begun notifying businesses of plans to audit the documents known as I-9 forms, which employers fill out for every worker. The Department of Homeland Security said 625 businesses had been told they would be audited, compared with 503 for last year.
12 PM EDT
FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate will participate in a media availability with Delaware Governor Jack Markell, U.S. Senator Tom Carper, U.S. Senator Ted Kaufman, and U.S. Representative Mike Castle about the importance of emergency preparedness
Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company
219 Rehoboth Avenue
Rehoboth Beach, Del.
10 AM PDT
ICE Seattle Special Agent in Charge Leigh Winchell will participate in a joint ICE-DEA media availability to discuss arrests made in a drug trafficking operation
400 2nd Ave W
Seattle, WA 98119
Sean Smith is the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security
In the 16 months since the pilot began, the IAP has identified hundreds of people with improper documentation, intercepted 23 persons with fraudulent documents, and importantly, stopped 10 terrorism-related suspects from heading to our shores.
The preliminary success of the IAP encourages further cooperation between the U.S. and Spain on this issue.
“Protecting our nation from terrorism requires close coordination with our international allies,” said Secretary Napolitano. "This agreement enhances the capabilities of the United States and Spain to facilitate legal travel and deter dangerous people attempting to enter our country.”