Thu, May 23

Editorial: Napolitano the perfect choice for Homeland Security post

Since she began serving as Arizona's governor in 2003, Janet Napolitano has been highly critical of the federal government's role in securing the state's southern border.

It was a role, she said, in which the federal government failed to live up to its responsibilities.

And while she has allowed state resources and personnel to be used to strengthen border patrol, Napolitano has done so under protest. Further, she unsuccessfully sought federal reimbursement from the Bush Administration for the state's role in doing the federal government's job.

With Monday's acknowledgement that Napolitano will step down as governor to serve as Homeland Security chief for President-elect Barack Obama, security of our border with Mexico no doubt will be a priority for Napolitano.

And it should be.

The federal government has failed miserably in its responsibility to secure our border with Mexico. Congress shares much of the blame for this by confusing the issues of border security with amnesty policies for those who already have entered our country illegally.

They are two separate and distinct issues. Especially in this era of global terrorism, the sieve that is now border security is a nightmare waiting to happen. At the very least, it perpetuates government policies of socialism that are a reality when our country is continually flooded with illegal immigrants. That reality will only intensify so long as the border is not secure.

No one understands this problem better than Napolitano.

While we should be saddened to see her leaving the governor's office, the good news is that our next Secretary of Homeland Security fully understands the necessity of full and proper security of our country's southern border.

She is the perfect choice for the job.