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Attorney General Tom Horne to Senator: Border Security Should be Certified by States, Not the Department of Homeland Security

Phoenix, AZ (Tuesday, May 21, 2013) – A single political appointee should not be entrusted with the job of certifying border security for the United States, Attorney General Tom Horne told Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake in a letter yesterday.

"Last week’s report from the Department of Homeland Security confirming that more than 600 immigration detainees released from federal custody in February were convicted criminals was outrageous, and shows the federal government’s lack of commitment to border security," Horne said.

"As Congress prepares to discuss immigration reform, I am very concerned about any language that gives the Secretary of Homeland Security sole authority to certify the border as secure. The current Secretary is well-known for her pronouncements that the border is ‘as secure as it’s ever been,’ but people who live and work along the border tell a different story. 

The border, especially at the Tucson Sector, is not secure, and for any one person based in Washington, D.C. to be given the sole authority to certify it as secure in any new immigration reform package is a mistake.

I urge the Senate to include language that eliminates the certification role for this or any future D.H.S. Secretary and instead require a panel of local and state stakeholders in border states affected by these issues to objectively measure and certify border security."

A copy of the letter is attached.

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