Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced Friday that she would be leaving her national security post in order to take a job as the next president of the University of California system.
The announcement of Big Sis’ forthcoming departure drew cheerful rejoice, rebukes of Napolitano and calls for DHS to be dismantled.
In a statement, Napolitano said that DHS has done much to make the American public safer during her tenure.
“The Department has improved the safety of travelers; implemented smart steps that make our immigration system more fair and focused while deploying record resources to protect our nation’s borders; worked with states to build resiliency and make our nation’s emergency and disaster response capabilities more robust; and partnered with the private sector to improve our cybersecurity,” she said.
“I thank President Obama for the chance to serve our nation during this important chapter in our history, and I know the Department of Homeland Security will continue to perform its important duties with the honor and focus that the American public expects.”
President Barack Obama praised Napolitano in a statement late last week following her announcement.
“Since day one, Janet has led my administration’s effort to secure our borders, deploying a historic number of resources, while also taking steps to make our immigration system fairer and more consistent with our values,” Obama said. “And the American people are safer and more secure thanks to Janet’s leadership in protecting our homeland against terrorist attacks.”
While Obama and Napolitano may be infinitely proud of the Orwellian DHS, several members of Congress say that government officials should re-think certain aspects of the agency before appointing a new director.
Former House Transportation Panel Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.), who helped draft legislation that created the DHS-led Transportation Security Administration, said that Napolitano’s departure “comes not a minute too soon.”
“Now is a good time for Congress to consider dismantling the monstrous Department of Homeland Security and replacing it with a smaller security focused entity that is realistically capable of connecting the dots of threats posed to our national security,” he said in a statement.
Mica, in the years following 9/11, said that the TSA had grown into a government monstrosity that needed to be dismantled, arguing that it strayed from its intended mission and become a bureaucracy that invades airline passengers’ privacy.
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) blasted Napolitano following her resignation announcement, saying that her tenure was “defined by a consistent disrespect for the rule of law.”
“The resignation of Secretary Napolitano should refocus the attention of Congress on its first task: to ensure that the executive branch faithfully carries out the laws of the land,” said Sessions, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“The most significant obstacle to immigration reform remains President Obama’s selective enforcement of the law. Any selection — interim or permanent — to replace Secretary Napolitano must disavow these aggressive non-enforcement directives or there is very little hope for successful immigration reform.
“Whoever replaces Secretary Napolitano must restore the rule of law, as well as the morale of ICE officers which has plummeted under her tenure.”