Sequester Already Screwing Up Airports: Napolitano

Furlough announcements go out today

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 4, 2013 2:10 PM CST

(Newser) – It may take a while for the full impact of the sequester to hit Americans, but some people are already feeling the pain, Janet Napolitano told Politico today, namely the sad souls in line at airport security. "We are having to reduce or eliminate basically overtime both for TSA and for customs" and "will begin today sending out furlough notices," the Homeland Security secretary said. "We are already seeing the effects" including lines "150% to 200% as long as we would normally expect."

"I don't mean to scare, I mean to inform," she added. "Get to the airport earlier than you otherwise would." The change hasn't been lost on passengers, who were already bracing for the worst, USA Today reports. Napolitano also said that Homeland Security had released "hundreds" of immigrant detainees rather than the thousands reported in the media, and said they were all low-risk offenders. She added that securing the borders "would be a heck of a lot easier" if Congress would pass an immigration plan.

In this Feb. 25, 2013, file photo, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano briefs reporters  at the White House.
In this Feb. 25, 2013, file photo, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano briefs reporters at the White House.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
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