WASHINGTON— Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today delivered remarks at the National League of Cities Congressional City Conference, discussing the need for commonsense immigration reform and underscoring the Administration’s efforts in securing the nation’s borders. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Alejandro Mayorkas also delivered remarks at the conference.
“Organizations like the National League of Cities and its members, as well as partners from across government, and the private and non-profit sectors, are instrumental to DHS’ success as we move forward on the issue of commonsense immigration reform,” said Secretary Napolitano. “We must sustain and build upon our historic efforts to secure the border through commonsense reform that cuts down illegal border crossings by strengthening employers’ accountability and updating our legal immigration system.”
Over the past four years, this Administration has dedicated historic levels of personnel, technology, and resources to the Southwest border, and undertaken an unprecedented effort to transform our nation's immigration enforcement systems into one that focuses on public safety, border security, and the integrity of the immigration system. In an effort to further enhance the Department’s ability to focus on its enforcement priorities, on June 15, 2012, Secretary Napolitano announced that USCIS would establish a process to allow certain people who came to the United States as children and meet several key guidelines to request consideration of deferred action for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and, as a result, apply for work authorization. This process helps DHS continue to focus immigration enforcement and ensure that resources are not spent pursuing the removal of low priority cases involving productive young people.
“USCIS will be ready to implement comprehensive immigration reform,” said USCIS Director Mayorkas. “We look forward to effectively administering a new set of laws that more fully realize our immigration system’s goals of promoting American prosperity, family unity, and humanitarian protection.”
In January, President Obama announced key principles for commonsense immigration reform that would continue to build upon this progress by investing in the ports of entry, and helping our officers and agents focus on public safety threats; making it harder for transnational criminal organizations to operate, while encouraging immigrants to pursue a pathway to earned citizenship; holding employers accountable and strengthening the integrity of the immigration system overall. The passage of the President’s proposal will help make sure that officers and agents along the border are better able to focus on combating public safety and national security threats.
For more information, visit www.dhs.gov.