The Spoils of the Political Machine – Napolitano’s Move to Kalifornia

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By Maria Fotopoulos

Maria is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow who focuses on the impacts of growth on biodiversity. Find her on Twitter | in | FB.

The writer’s views are her own.


 

August 14, 2013

Last month, Janet Napolitano, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, announced she’d be resigning from that job. The former Arizona governor now is slated to be the next president of the 10-campus University of California system, in another case of failing upwards.

Despite Napolitano’s claims that the U.S. border is more secure than ever, after four and one-half years under her direction, Homeland Security, by any objective standard, can only be seen as a castrated government entity.

As the head of an organization charged with securing our nation’s borders and immigration laws, Napolitano abdicated that responsibility. Policy has been to use “prosecutorial discretion” when arresting illegal aliens, which translates to only arresting illegal aliens deemed “a threat to public safety and national security.” This means a free pass to many.

Under Napolitano too, those under the age of 31 in the country illegally, who claim student status and that they were brought to the country as a child, are not being deported. Further, according to a U.S. Government Accountability Office report released at the end of July, as many as 1 million people who came to the U.S. on a temporary basis, either with or without a visa, are unaccounted for.

Part of Homeland Security’s job is to check entry and exit data at land, air and sea ports; yet, the organization doesn’t even know if these people are still here or not. Five of the nine September 11, 2001, hijackers were overstays, the GAO report reminded readers, adding that often visa overstayers can pose a security risk.

During her tenure at DHS, Napolitano also stood by a report on extremism that raised concern about returning vets being at risk for recruitment to extremist groups, which riled many returning veterans. That DHS report further denigrated groups “that are dedicated to a single issue,” such as those opposed to immigration.

Of course, the Obama Administration has from the beginning intended to push an amnesty for illegal aliens. A Homeland Security secretary who supports the wishes of the Administration, rather than following the law, is a good soldier for her political party, which brings us back to Napolitano’s new job. Call it political patronage or the political machine, to the outside observer, it looks a little like payoff for towing the political line.

The ability to simply follow orders, though, certainly does not make one a good leader, so that skillset of Napolitano seems particularly mismatched to the needs of the troubled UC system.

As Homeland Security Secretary, Napolitano had an annual salary of nearly $200,000. She’ll be paid $570,000 annually, along with healthy benefits in the new post. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom was quoted as saying this salary “was reasonable” (one more reason to question the credibility of the former San Francisco mayor; the other being his flagrant disregard for immigration laws).

Quid pro quo?

Surely such things don’t happen in Amerika!

The Sacramento Bee wrote that Napolitano “is not without controversy.” The story pointed to open borders folks, including students, who are troubled by “a record number of deportations” while Napolitano was Homeland Security Secretary. (The department that is supposed to enforce immigration laws actually deports some people? Shocking!) It’s rather ironic that these folks would be critical of her, since her actual record speaks to being very friendly to illegal aliens.

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