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Napolitano: Work site enforcement, border security connected

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Work site enforcement efforts directly support the Department of Homeland Security’s border security measures, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said at a recent border-security conference at the University of Texas-El Paso.

According to Napolitano, keeping illegal immigrants from crossing the U.S.-Mexico border depends on making sure employers don’t hire undocumented workers. She blamed “the jobs magnet effect” for drawing illegal immigrants into the United States.

On the link between border security and workplace enforcement, Napolitano said, “We need to make sure that work site enforcement is done,” to both punish employers that are benefiting from an illegal workforce and to make sure all employers maintain a legal workforce.

Reducing the demand for illegal labor, Napolitano continued, “is, itself, part of border security.”

“For the past eight years or so,” Napolitano said, “the federal government’s approach to the Southwest border was to treat it as a problem set and to treat it as something to be dealt with separately from our nation’s broader challenges with immigration, security, counternarcotics enforcement and international relations.”

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