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Napolitano: No Meeting with Obama on Immigration, DACA
Bipartisan Reform Legislation Was Never a Priority
(Washington, D.C.) – Former Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, recently disclosed that she never met with President Obama as she prepared the Administration's order on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), in 2012. According to Ms. Napolitano, she encountered substantial opposition from administration officials, but acted without the direct intervention of the president to defend the DACA proposal. It has been separately reported that the DACA order effectively short-circuited a plan by Senator Rubio (R-FL) and others to pass reform legislation to provide relief to immigrants present in the U.S. without documentation. According to the Washington Post, "immigration reform was not a top priority for the president" in the months before his re-election campaign.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director for The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:
"Secretary Napolitano provides the latest evidence that the president never seriously attempted to enact bipartisan immigration reform. He promised to address it in his first year in office, and did not. When a bipartisan group in Congress tried to enact reform legislation in 2012 for DREAMers, he looked the other way when his team effectively killed that effort. And now – most recently – he has gone back on a promise to take action this year, and will instead wait until he and the Democratic party view it as politically helpful, later this year.
Immigration has always been first and foremost about politics for this president and there is no evidence of any change in that opinion. But America's immigrant community deserves better. They deserve a president who is legitimately focused on and willing to work across the aisle for a fair, long-term, bipartisan reform package. They won't get that until the White House changes course, and works in a bipartisan way on key priorities."