The Conversation

Janet Napolitano's Ever-Changing Tune On Border Security

For someone once charged with policing America's borders, former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano sure does seem to have a loose grasp on her thoughts on the subject.

Today she's saying the border can't even be sealed and we're wasting time even discussing it.

"You cannot seal a border," she told the Associated Press on a trip to Mexico, "that's an unrealistic expectation."

However, as this item points out, here she was in 2013.

We're putting mobile surveillance so that we can move around and watch and we have increased the boots on the ground," she said. "Over the last couple of years, we've added what we call boots in the air, aerial surveillance, for the first time, border-wide, but really focused on that Tucson sector.

Furthermore, she's now claiming even talking about additional security is a waste of time and, if anything, we need to loosen certain aspects of our borders.

.Napolitano said in an interview with The Associated Press that U.S. money would be better spent on easing border-crossing bottlenecks that affect traderather than on adding more barriers and agents.

"When you go to some of our ports and see the backup — it's gotten better but it's not good enough. And it's not keeping pace with the amount of commerce that's growing between our countries," she said, emphasizing that she is expressing a personal opinion now that she has left government.

Yet, as recently as 2012, she was singing a different tune, wanting to talk about all aspects of border security, without suggesting talking about security was a problem, let alone a waste of time.

“I think that, having dealt with border enforcement and immigration enforcement for the last 20 years, I can say it is time to look at the entire system,” she said on PBS last night, expressing optimism that immigration reform may come after the fiscal cliff is negotiated.

Given her shifting views in such a short period of time during which she left government for education, it seems fair to say that whatever she was saying to congress in her role as a cabinent Secretary amounted to little more than 'just words' aimed at giving the Obama administration cover of one sort or another in and around the immigration debate. 


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