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homeland security holds closed door meetings

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  • homeland security holds closed door meetings

    SEATTLE -- Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano held a closed-door session with representatives of various industries and advocacy groups impacted by immigration - a first of its kind meeting for the secretary.

    Monday's "listening session" included immigrant advocates, labor unions, state officials, law enforcement officers, business leaders and farm working representatives among others. The meeting was closed to the media and public. The secretary is expected to hold similar meetings later on around the country.

    Some of the people who attended left optimistic.

    "First time in almost 20 years working with farm workers that immigration has ever asked our opinion on this issue," said Erik Nicholson, regional director for the United Farmworkers of America. "That's very encouraging."

    Napolitano has been appointed by President Barack Obama as the lead official in his efforts to overhaul the immigration system. Moreover, Washington is a state that has attracted significant immigrant work force, from the agricultural fields of eastern Washington to the high-tech campus at Microsoft.

    A work site raid in Bellingham, Wash., in February became a national flash point in the immigration issue after Napolitano ordered a review of the operation. It was the first raid under the Obama administration, which had signaled that it wanted to move away from raids to focus on scrutinizing employers who hire illegal workers.

    Earlier this month, Homeland Security released a list of 652 businesses nationwide that will receive audits of their work force - 26 are in the Pacific Northwest.

    "Secretary Napolitano believes it's important to speak directly to the many individuals and groups that are impacted by our work," Matt Chandler, spokesman for the department.

    The meeting was used by some to express concerns about U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's practices, including programs that further integrate local law enforcement agencies in tracking illegal immigrants with criminal records and the agency's focus those types of immigrants. Others said the meeting was a bit too brief.

    Pramila Jayapal, executive director of OneAmerica, a Seattle-based immigrant advocate group, said her organization is concerned for due process rights and protections to people as immigration issues are reformed.

    But Jayapal said Napolitano signaled that stepped up enforcement from local authorities would not stop. She, however, still liked what she heard from the secretary.

    "It's clear to me that Janet Napolitano is engaging actively in that discussion, but we're going to continue to need the Obama administration to weigh in heavily," she said.

    Earlier this month, critics of Homeland Security's new approach to enforcing immigration law said that enforcement is being gutted as work site raids are being minimized.

    "Everybody wants criminal aliens out of the country, that's sort of the low hanging fruit," said Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a Washington, D.C., group that lobbies for stricter immigration rules. "The Obama administration is gutting enforcement. They're gutting enforcement, except against action with people with criminal records."

    Mehlman was not invited to the meeting Monday.

  • #2
    National security is a PUBLIC concern and belongs OUT in the OPEN!


    • #3
      So now were to believe they're going after the employers ???????

      The politicians in power truly must think that all the American public, and I put emphasis on the word all, because the vast majority of the public, do and will believe what they say.

      I am a nonbeliever in anything my government tells me, I will stay a nonbeliever till I see a Fed court in this land prosecute and inprison
      the CEO of McDonald's, and each and every franchise owner of McDonald's
      2 a term of no less than 3 to 5 years in a federal penitentiary for the tens of thousands of illegal workers they have flooded this country with, and I can guarantee hell will freeze over 10 times before that happens.

      All American citizens and I mean every American citizen, better put their
      petty differences aside I'm talking about black and white,Brown, and yellow and start working together, or this country is going to look like the vast majority of what these Mexicans country looks like, have any of you ever looked at the streets of any of the border towns ??????

      For those of you that live in Nevada, you can go into any part of town
      that has been taken over by Hispanics and just look at how rundown the neighborhoods have become.

      Do any of the organizations ever meet and discuss or is everything just over the Internet ??? So people can just privately rant about things ????

      There's an election coming up and I've yet to see or read of anybody truly putting a third-party candidate up, I'm not talking about a radical, Im talking about somebody who truly wants to work with the people and to try and bring about some good changes for the good of the American public, if this don't happen I think every one should just bend over and kiss you know what good Buy.

      And please don't think any of those conservative Republicans can and do have a chance, the ones that are still in power are in districts where the people in their jurisdiction are just about as loony as they are, and that pool is shrinking fast. It takes time to set up and here's some other things I personally don't think the candidate should have in their background.
      #-1 none should have a realtor's license or brokers license.
      #-2 no bankers, no accountants, or anyone that has worked for a special interest organization, or attorneys.
      #-3 no one that's event been a corporate executive officer.
      (Running a company, owning a small to medium company is all right)
      these people may be American citizens but they all have one thing in common (each and every one of these people are greedy) and can be bought