Why DHS Needs Immigration Reform?

As we move closer to an Immigration reform, even government officials agree that such major change is very necessary. Here are some remarks by Secretary Napolitano on Immigration Reform at the Center for American Progress:

Over the past year, as this Administration has pursued more effective strategies within the current laws, the picture of how exactly those laws need to be changed has become clearer than ever before. In the past ten months, we have made tough choices, and implemented significant reforms within the current legal framework—but they are not enough to create the system that we want or that we need. If we are truly going to fix a broken system, Congress will have to act.

When it comes to immigration, I took an oath as Secretary of Homeland Security to secure the nation by enforcing the law and managing legal flows across the border. Let me be clear: to do this job as effectively as possible, DHS needs immigration reform.

Reform legislation would provide lasting and dedicated resources at our borders, and provide some critical legal tools that we don’t currently have to combat smuggling organizations. For example, we need tougher anti-smuggling laws in dealing with the aggravated crimes smugglers commit—including assaulting law enforcement officers, endangering children, threatening relatives and abandoning people in the desert— hundreds of whom succumb to death from heat and lack of water. We also need to update current laws that don’t cover some of the new means by which criminals conduct their business. For instance, today’s smugglers and drug traffickers often move cash through “stored value” cards, which aren’t even considered monetary instruments under the current money-smuggling laws.

In addition, we need improvements to the current law when it comes to interior and worksite enforcement. Dishonest businesses often ignore the civil fines for illegal employment now on the books because they’re so low. It’s also very difficult to prosecute these crimes as felonies because of the over-elaborate intent requirements built into the current statutes.

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