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Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano resigning

By Alicia A. Caldwell & Eileen Sullivan

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 03:12 p.m. HST, Jul 12, 2013

WASHINGTON » Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who led the burgeoning Department of Homeland Security through a host of policy changes in the post 9/11 era, is resigning to head the University of California system.

Napolitano, just the third person to lead the 10-year-old department, told her senior staff today she would be leaving for California. She will become the president of the University of California system, which includes UCLA and the University of California, Berkeley, among other campuses. The University of California also announced Napolitano's nomination to be the 20th president of the statewide system. It was not immediately clear who President Barack Obama was considering as Napolitano's replacement.

"The opportunity to work with the dedicated men and women of the Department of Homeland Security, who serve on the front lines of our nation's efforts to protect our communities and families from harm, has been the highlight of my professional career," Napolitano said in a statement. "After four plus years of focusing on these challenges, I will be nominated as the next president of the University of California to play a role in educating our nation's next generation of leaders."

Napolitano, a former Arizona governor and attorney general, was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2008. She had led the department through a series of policy changes with respect to protecting the public safety, including a focus on enforcing immigration laws.

Under her tenure, DHS implemented a wide-spread policy of using prosecutorial discretion when arresting immigrants in the country without permission, saying her department needed to focus its scarce resources on criminals and those who posed a threat to public safety and national security. She also helped establish a plan to provide temporary relief from deportation for thousands of young immigrants who arrived in the United State illegally and don't have legal status.

Obama issued a statement commending Napolitano for "her outstanding work on behalf of the American people over the last four years."

"At the Department of Homeland Security, Janet's portfolio has included some of the toughest challenges facing our country. She's worked around the clock to respond to natural disasters, from the Joplin tornado to Hurricane Sandy, helping Americans recover and rebuild," Obama said. He added that the American people "are safer and more secure thanks to Janet's leadership in protecting our homeland against terrorist attacks."

David Heyman, the DHS assistant secretary for policy, told his staff in an internal email today that acting Deputy Secretary Rand Beers would lead the department pending a confirmation vote for Alejandro Mayorkas, who has been nominated to fill the department's No. 2 spot.

While no serious short list of names has emerged in Washington for Napolitano's permanent replacement, an official said some of the names circulating on Capitol Hill include former Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen, retired Independent Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman and Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins. Lieberman and Collins co-wrote the legislation that created the department a decade ago.

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palani wrote:
Maybe now DHS can return to its actual mission of protecting us from islamic terrorists instead of focusing on disaffected returning war vets, "right-wing" militia groups, political enemies, and first and fourth amendment rights advocates. The country's "loss" is now the University of California's "loss".
on July 12,2013 | 05:19AM
serious wrote:
You sound pretty "Fast and Furious".
on July 12,2013 | 05:47AM
palani wrote:
I forgot to add second amendment rights advocates. Thanks for reminding me how AG Holder is just as misguided.
on July 12,2013 | 06:17AM
pcman wrote:
IRT palani on loss. DHS has lost 4 and a half years of failing to do anything constructive to improve security of the homeland at the borders, in the heartland and the cyberspace. We are worst off than we were when Napolitano took office as exemplified by the Boston bombing, cyber attacks on out information system, and increase of illegal immigrants across the borders and by overstaying visas. Napolitano also did not develop its intelligence collection, exploitation, analysis and execution of effective security operations. Perhaps, she did not get support of President Obama, but it was her job to get his support. She will probably oversee the failure of the California college system.
on July 12,2013 | 06:39AM
false wrote:
Not sure where you got the idea illegal immigration has increased under Obama. The best evidence is that it has fallen dramatically in recent years. I am not giving credit, or blame, to either Obama or Napolitano. I expect ti has to do with a broad range of factors beyond their control.
on July 12,2013 | 08:36AM
beachbum11 wrote:
You got the right handle. Your information is well you know. Just ask the right people the border patrol.
on July 12,2013 | 09:21AM
cojef wrote:
No great loss, perhaps good riddance, only what is coming after, could be worst. Live in California and fear we got the raw end of some deal makings.
on July 12,2013 | 06:51AM
pridon wrote:
Reminds me of MRC G. Why would Cal system hire someone as incompetent at Napolitano.
on July 12,2013 | 07:13AM
sluggah wrote:
She fits the Politburo's viewpoint.
on July 12,2013 | 08:02AM
mijlive wrote:
because UH already has it's share of village idiots
on July 12,2013 | 08:23AM
loio wrote:
good riddance
on July 12,2013 | 07:56AM
false wrote:
Missing from the overview of her tenure was how the Department of Homeland Security helped coordinate the nationwide, violent attacks by police on the Occupy encampments, using rubber bullets, stun grenades, teargas and brutality. It was denied at the time, but the truth has come out. It should be part of her "permanent record," so fix that, will ya?
on July 12,2013 | 08:39AM
SteveToo wrote:
Yea they should have just used bull dozers. LOL
on July 12,2013 | 09:51AM
2NDC wrote:
About time!
on July 12,2013 | 09:19AM
retire wrote:
Guess she decided to leave before she gets riffed.
on July 12,2013 | 02:09PM
tiki886 wrote:
Maybe Napolitano wasn't on the same page as Obama since her Dept hit record deportation numbers for several years. Probably pizzed off the far left and a lot of "undocumented democrats".


on July 12,2013 | 05:07PM
tiki886 wrote:
"Obama Deportation Toll Could Pass 2 Million At Current Rates"


on July 12,2013 | 05:10PM
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