Napolitano Pick Suggests Focus on Immigration

Rumored Homeland Security nominee has hawk cred on border
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2008 12:45 PM CST
Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano testifies before the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on health-care coverage issues, Nov. 13, 2008.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – If Janet Napolitano is indeed Barack Obama’s pick for Homeland Security chief, it likely signals a shift in the department away from terrorism and toward immigration issues, CQPolitics reports. The Arizona governor has been on the front lines of the immigration battle. “She would do a pretty serious systematic review of the border strategy,” a Clinton administration immigration official said.

Napolitano, who gets rave reviews from current DHS boss Michael Chertoff and Arizona Sen. John McCain, isn’t a pure immigration hawk. She’s set up systems to verify the status of new hires, but opposes border fencing. Other fans point to Napolitano’s executive experience—necessary to run the big, young department—and legal background—a perspective some say the Bush administration ignored at Homeland Security.