Note: We’ll continue to update this thread as the president-elect reveals his plans for the Homeland Security Department.
President-elect Barack Obama has reportedly offered the job to Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano.
Napolitano still has to be vetted by Obama’s transition team; a spokesperson for the Arizona governor’s office declined to comment on the selection.
She would take over a five-year-old agency that is plagued by organizational problems and struggles with many of its core missions, particularly immigration. The department has spent billions on a still-unproven “virtual fence” along the Mexican border; unions say it hasn’t properly trained thousands of new hires at the Border Patrol; and Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been criticized for its high-profile, police-style roundups of illegal immigrants at workplaces.
In an interview this summer, Clark Kent Ervin â€” a homeland security scholar at the Aspen Institute and now a member of Obama’s transition team â€” said fixing immigration should be a top priority for the new secretary. That may help to explain Obama’s choice: a governor from a border state who’s won praise for her immigration efforts.