A fast start at Homeland Security | NevadaAppeal.com

A fast start at Homeland Security

Guy W. Farmer
For the Nevada Appeal

Our new Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary, former Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, got off to a fast start last month by announcing that she wants to deport criminal illegal aliens. Although that policy looks like a no-brainer to me, the ACLU and/or the Mexican government will probably complain about how the illegals’ (excuse me, undocumented workers) alleged rights are being violated.

“If you’re a criminal and you’re not entitled to be in the United States, DHS Secretary Napolitano wants you out of the country,” said one news report. “She wants ‘criminal aliens’ off American streets (and) is looking at existing immigration enforcement programs to see if taxpayers are getting the most bang for their buck.”

That’s a tougher statement than we heard from former President George W. Bush, who advocated “comprehensive immigration reform” (stealth amnesty), as did President Obama during last year’s election campaign.

Perhaps Napolitano, who was tough on illegal immigration in Arizona, will help strengthen our new president’s backbone on this vital national security issue. With ultra-violent drug wars claiming more than 5,000 mostly innocent victims a year in Mexico, this is no time to go easy on criminal aliens.

In her first week on the job in Washington, Secretary Napolitano issued directives calling for a review of cyber-security measures as well as on DHS infrastructure protection, risk analysis, interagency intelligence sharing and transportation security.

According to Washington insiders, the review will help the sprawling department, created after 9/11, cope with charges of mismanagement and lax security.

One DHS watcher, Washington political blogger Richard Adhikari, wrote that “cyber-security has emerged as a major area of concern for DHS and other U.S. agencies in the wake of major lapses in government and corporate database security.” According to congressional testimony, DHS suffered 844 data breaches in 2005 and 2006.

Napolitano is focused on improved intelligence sharing between DHS and other federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement and investigative agencies, as well as with the private sector. She wants to ensure that all such agencies are linked to a government-wide information/intelligence sharing system mandated by Congress after 9/11.

I’m always amused when the Mexican government complains about alleged U.S. violations of the “rights” of illegal immigrants, especially since illegals have virtually no rights in Mexico. It’s interesting to note that the Mexican Constitution contains many provisions to protect Mexico from foreigners, including foreign-born legal residents and naturalized citizens.

According to Dr. Michael Waller, vice president of the Center for Security Policy, Mexico denies many rights to foreign-born citizens that are taken for granted in the U.S., such as the right to run for political office and the right to own property. If foreigners wish to have certain property rights in Mexico, they must renounce the protection of their own governments. In short, the Mexican Constitution guarantees that immigrants will never be treated like native-born Mexican citizens, and states that foreigners may be expelled for any reason and without due process.

Moreover, we welcome legal residents of the U.S. into our nation’s armed forces (that’s how many of them become American citizens), while the Mexican Constitution bans foreigners and naturalized citizens from serving in the military, making them second-class citizens.

Waller offers two possible solutions to this political hypocrisy: 1. Mexico should amend its Constitution to guarantee immigrants the same rights that it demands the U.S. give to immigrants from Mexico, or 2. the U.S. should impose the same restrictions on Mexican immigrants that Mexico imposes on immigrants from the U.S. When it comes to immigration, legal and illegal, we should demand reciprocity from Mexico and encourage DHS Secretary Napolitano’s crackdown on illegal immigration.

– Guy W. Farmer, of Carson City, has been following U.S.-Mexico border issues ever since he served at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City in the 1970s.