Napolitano Sees 'Positive Signs Of A Healthy Border'

April 05, 2013

Photo by Michel Marizco
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano spoke in Tucson on Friday.

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano met with law enforcement officers in Texas and Arizona this week. She spoke Friday in Tucson about those meetings.

Napolitano said she sees signs of what she called a healthy border. She even pointed to Tucson’s real estate market as an example of the border’s success.

"And over the past decade Tucson’s crime rate has continued to drop even as the city has continued to grow. These are all positive signs of a healthy, healthy border,” she said.

The city lies an hour north of Mexico.

She said illegal immigration arrests are down 80 percent from their height in 2000. Drug seizures along the border are up more than 70 percent, and firearm seizures up nearly 200 percent, though she did not give a comparison to specific years.

All three data points are indicative of a healthy border, she said.

Her border visit comes shortly before a draft Senate immigration reform plan is finished. She said part of the reform should include targeting employers who hire people that came here illegally and shortening wait times for the families of people working in the U.S. on a visa.