5 Things Napolitano Says Will Provide a Path to Legalization

MazeIn an interview Monday morning on Fox & Friends, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano defended the proposals she offered as part of her first comprehensive discussion on immigration reform. Last Friday, Napolitano announced that immigration reform should consist of “serious and effective enforcement,” a rational system for dealing with future flows of immigrants, and — perhaps most importantly — a path to legalization for those who are already here.

Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson asked Napolitano to explain her “controversial comments.” Napolitano responded:

I don’t think they’re controversial. I think they’re commonsense…

The notion that somehow you’re going to find and deport the 11-12 million who are here illegally is illusory. So if you don’t do anything, you basically have amnesty by inaction. What we’re saying is look,

  1. you gotta come out
  2. you’ve gotta report
  3. you’re gonna have to pay a fine
  4. you’re gonna have to learn English
  5. you’re gonna have to be a taxpayer

— those are the things that bring people out of the shadows.

Watch it:

Jon Feere over at the Center for Immigration Studies is one of those individuals who opposes Napolitano’s “controversial” solutions and favors an “illusory” strategy of “attrition through enforcement.” Feere proposes shrinking the population of undocumented immigrants through hardline enforcement measures that include deporting as many immigrants as possible and making life so unbearable for those that aren’t caught, that they choose to “deport themselves.” Besides the questionable moral implications associated with Feere’s recommendation, attrition through enforcement just isn’t feasible.

The estimated costs associated with any mass deportation effort would likely be at least $206 billion over five years, and could be as high as $230 billion or more. Meanwhile, the estimated revenue associated with the 2006 immigration reform bill which would’ve put undocumented immigrants on a path to legalization totaled $66 billion over a ten year period. Most undocumented immigrants come to the US out of economic desperation and it’s unlikely that there’s much the government could legally do to make their life harder here than it is for them abroad.


Ultimately, it’s unlikely that the federal government will start pouring billions of dollars into an “illusory” strategy that’s only supported by a vocal minority. Requiring undocumented immigrants to register with the government, pay all taxes they owe, and face certain penalties as part of earning legal status is a “tough and fair” path to legalization that’s supported by the majority of voters, not un-endorsed amnesty. Meanwhile, inaction on immigration reform would represent a silent pardon of the status quo that wouldn’t go unnoticed.

Andrea Christina Nill

Republished with permission from the Wonk Room/Think Progress


  1. David Colcord Anderson says

    Todos Salud,

    No batallador.

    In general, we have benefitted greatly from the stock of hispanic Americans that have entered the United States both legally and illegally, as have they. Consider back in the day if you had lived in Communist Bloc Europe and wanted to escape to West Germany! You had to brave barbed wire and machine guns to get out.

    The U.S. government simply needs to do its job. Curb illegal immigration. We pay for entitlements, UAVs and remote wars but cannot afford to reduce illegal immigration? Muy loco.

    As for those here illegally, we must remember that they are all law breakers, though understandbly motivated for many. Legal new candidates for citizenship from any country must go through a rigorous process before being granted citizenship. Illegals immigrants from any nation should be prompted to come forward and be reassured to expect fair evaluation on a case by case basis. Until they have demonstrated under supervision a willingness to consistently work, pay taxes, and conform with the rule of law of the land, they are on probation and should not receive full benefits. Legal candidates do not receive full benefits until they’ve fully qualified. Same or slightly stricter for illegals.

    For the majority of those that will prove to be just what we need, solid freedom loving citizens, bienvenidos, os queremos, estudio Jorge Washington! Conforma.

    For the minority not willing to work in the ways of capitalism, why are you here? You’re gone! We cannot pretend that only good people interested in competing in free markets come here. Peligroso veneno.

  2. Brittancus says

    Bloggers nationwide brought to the public attention the need to stop the infiltration of illegal immigrants in the workplace. Now the voice of –THE PEOPLE–are demanding sealing the borders tight and that every corrupt politician catering to corporate welfare–MUST GO, Starting with Sen.Harry Reid (D-NV) Special attention should be drawn to incorrigible governors, lawmakers, mayors judges and elected officials who have ordained policies of SANCTUARY STATES.

    Hopefully E-Verify will become a nationwide vetting system to remove illegal workers from your office or from your factory? It has shown its efficiency, because the open border organizations have moved heaven and earth to smash it? Now it is firmly entrenched in every American workers mind, that it can save their jobs. Even Sen.Harry Reid, who tried to table E-Verify failed miserably and now, is funded for another 3 years. This gives reputable politicians time to make E-Verification mandatory as it’s been evaluated as a good immigration enforcement instrument and it could be introduced for other purposes. As a national legal people’s identifier and combined with other data bases, it usages could be essential to recognize fraudulent drivers license, auto registration. Child support, health care and many other verifications of individual who think they are safe from government. But its main restrictions will to terminate foreign nationals appropriating US workers jobs.

    In the future this data base could be established at airport terminals for departures and arrivals. It will be an ongoing fight against the opponents such as US chamber of Commerce, ACLU, Council of Foreign Relations, business organizations, agriculture and other groups. It is certain to be a bargaining chip in shoving through another Comprehensive Immigration Reform package, that will devastate America. An overflow of poor, uneducated humanity, looking for free health care will start pouring into our nation. Around the world rumors are already flying that if you slip across the sieve of a border, you can get work as low income and get all your taxes back by lying on the tax form. Tax credits for non-existent supported children is an industry, that costs the US taxpayer billions a year. If Napolitano thinks that –ALL–Democrats will accept another trillion dollar budget deficit, cause by a new BLANKET AMNESTY.

    That bridge is still available in Brooklyn..? Very few Republicans will accept another AMNESTY? Not too much chance from Independents. Nor will legal immigrants or ethnic Americans who were born here, fought in four wars. Even people from South of the border are very reticent of allowing more people in, when there is 15 million unemployed. It means millions of low skilled workers would feel the crunch first, as already illegal immigrants who take their wages under the table, especially in Sanctuary States and undermine US labor?

    I know quite a few Democrats who signed onto the Obama Presidency that will fight against any travesty called Comprehensive Immigration Reform? The one in 1986 was a complete disaster and unable to handle the sudden in surge of millions of more destitute people, thinking they were going to collect welfare? Our country is overrun with every conceivable crime, that includes murder, child and female violation, document fraud, transporting of illegal aliens, welfare fraud, house invasion, burglary, robbery, spousal abuse, gangs and other heinous activities The biggest scourge is drunken driving, which is killing and maiming citizens and residents on the highways and streets in rampant numbers. Go to THE DARK SIDE OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION site for statistics. The doors to America are wide open, but nobody in their right mind is going to accept the first surge of 2-3 million coming from the South when they hear Lady Napolitano proclaiming a new AMNESTY? Those who believe in America’s survival, without OVERPOPULATION as stated by the US Census bureau better read facts, not the lies at NUMBERSUSA. Those who want details of corruption in WASHINGTON and state government go to JUDICIAL WATCH. Overpopulation, traffic hell should go to CAPSWEB. Other sites of interest on Immigration enforcement is ALIPAC and AMERICAN PATROL. We the people have the ultimate power to throw out anti-sovereignty incumbent politicians. Call and command these do-nothings to–STOP–this facade at 202-224-3121.

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