Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today delivered remarks at the Jewish Council for Public Affairs Plenum to discuss the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) priorities, including reforming our nation's immigration laws, DHS' continuing engagement with the Jewish community, as well as the challenges posed by the ongoing sequestration.
"I'm very proud of the work we've done together with the Jewish community to strengthen and deepen our collaboration on many issues of mutual interest and concern," said Secretary Napolitano. "Our partnership with organizations and leaders of faith communities has helped, and continues to help, communities across the country prepare for threats that may originate either within our borders, or abroad."
Secretary Napolitano highlighted the critical need for commonsense immigration reform and the Administration's dedication of historic levels of personnel, technology, and resources to the Southwest border. In January, President Obama announced key principles for commonsense immigration reform that would continue to build upon this progress by investing in the ports of entry, and helping our officers and agents focus on public safety threats; making it harder for transnational criminal organizations to operate, while encouraging immigrants to pursue a pathway to earned citizenship; holding employers accountable and strengthening the integrity of the immigration system overall. The passage of the President's proposal will help make sure that officers and agents along the border are better able to focus on combating public safety and national security threats.
During her remarks, Secretary Napolitano also discussed DHS' ongoing collaboration with the Jewish community to provide the information, tools, resources, and capabilities needed to build stronger, more resilient communities. To that end, in 2011 Secretary Napolitano announced the expansion of the "If You See Something, Say Something" public awareness campaign the Jewish community by partnering with the JFNA and the Secure Community Network--a mechanism for information sharing with faith- and community-based organizations designed to improve security awareness in a crisis situation.
DHS is committed to working together with the Jewish community at home and abroad. Secretary Napolitano traveled to Israel last year, where she met with senior Israeli officials and signed a Joint Statement on the implementation of the Global Entry trusted traveler program, which provides expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States.
For more information, visit www.dhs.gov.