January 31, 2009 By News Report
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano announced today a wide-ranging action directive on immigration and border security.
The directive requires specific department offices and components to work together and with state and local partners to review and assess the plans and policies to address: criminal and fugitive aliens; legal immigration benefit backlogs; southbound gun smuggling; cooperation with the National Guard; widows and widowers of U.S. citizens; immigration detention centers; and electronic employee verification.
Napolitano has already issued 11 action directives: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) state and local integration; national planning, cybersecurity; northern border strategy; critical infrastructure protection; risk analysis; state and local intelligence sharing; transportation security; state, local and tribal integration; first responder health surge capacity and Hurricane Katrina.
Today's directive is the last in an initial series on a wide variety of issues impacting the department's critical missions: Protection, Preparedness, Response, Recovery and Immigration.
The full action directive is below:
America is a nation of immigrants --- and it is the Department of Homeland Security's role to manage America's borders in a way that furthers this heritage, promoting legal immigration and cross-border commerce, while upholding the rule of law. The department must also enforce the law, targeting border criminals who use violence and fraud to smuggle people and drugs into the United States. But, the department must facilitate international travel and the naturalization of immigrants into our society. Smart, resolute enforcement by the department can keep Americans safe, foster legal immigration to America, protect legitimate commerce, and lay the groundwork for a more comprehensive reform.
To this end, the relevant components and offices of the department are asked to provide the following assessments about current programs, including metrics of success, gaps in service/ resources, partnerships with state and local governments and other federal agencies as well as offer suggestions for reforms, restructuring, and consolidation where needed.