Government Technology

Napolitano Issues Immigration and Border Security Directive



January 31, 2009 By

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:

Immigration and border security

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.

Criminal and Fugitive Aliens

  • The Secure Communities Program works with state, local and tribal law enforcement to identify and remove aliens unlawfully present who are involved in criminal activity. How can we best accelerate its development and expansion? For each assessment, a final report is due Feb. 20.
  • The Institutional Removal Program facilitates the entry of final removal orders before aliens convicted of crimes are released from criminal custody. What measures are needed, and with what priority, to secure expansion of this resource-saving program? Which state or federal facilities are the main targets of opportunity for efficient expansion? What specific cooperation is needed from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to facilitate expansion?
  • Fugitive Operation Teams. Please provide the current metrics of fugitive apprehension and removal (clearly differentiate the number of fugitives that are actually removed versus those aliens unlawfully present who are simply encountered by the teams while on assignment). How can fugitives be more effectively prioritized for these purposes and what steps can be taken to expedite removal?
  • The Electronic Travel Document Program facilitates the travel of persons subject to removal orders. How can the department best secure an expansion of this program to include the consulates of additional countries?
  • The 287(g) program provides for agreements whereby federally trained and supervised state and local law enforcement officials can participate in the investigation, apprehension, and transport of unauthorized aliens. How many officers have been trained to date? How many agreements have been signed with state and locals to date and how many are ready to be signed? What is the current turnaround time to sign an agreement and what can be done to expedite more agreements? How does this model compare in cost, effectiveness, and administration, to


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Comments

mousea1    |    Commented January 31, 2009

It's about time. More power to her. Can the law enforcement folks act as positively?

mousea1    |    Commented January 31, 2009

It's about time. More power to her. Can the law enforcement folks act as positively?

mousea1    |    Commented January 31, 2009

It's about time. More power to her. Can the law enforcement folks act as positively?

Don McAninch    |    Commented February 2, 2009

Why spend a trillion dollars to create three million jobs when we could simply deport three million illegal workers?

Don McAninch    |    Commented February 2, 2009

Why spend a trillion dollars to create three million jobs when we could simply deport three million illegal workers?

Don McAninch    |    Commented February 2, 2009

Why spend a trillion dollars to create three million jobs when we could simply deport three million illegal workers?


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