Napolitano wants National Guard to stay on Mexican border

Funding runs out in a month; she defends deportation shift

The Washington Times
Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Funding for National Guard troops on the U.S.-Mexico border runs out in another month, but Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Tuesday she would like to see them stay there — if Congress or the Defense Department can find the money.

Ms. Napolitano, a former prosecutor and then governor of Arizona who is the Obama administration’s point person on the border and immigration, also defended new guidelines that immigrant rights groups say could halt deportations of 300,000 illegal immigrants, saying her goal is to focus on immigrants with criminal records rather than rank-and-file illegal workers and their families.

But she demurred when asked if agencies under her purview are deporting enough illegal immigrants.

“Could we deport more if there were funds available, not just to us but to Justice Department, which has to handle all the removal and deportation proceedings at that level? You know, that’s kind of a hard question to answer. Ask Congress,