Homeland security chief: We will enforce immigration laws

Addressing hundreds of the nation's sheriffs in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Tuesday that her department would work to secure the nation's border and enforce the existing immigration laws.

"We will enforce the nation's immigration laws. We are going to do it in a smart and effective way," Napolitano said.

As the keynote speaker at the National Sheriffs' Association annual conference on Tuesday, Napolitano discussed immigration and other issues facing law enforcement.

Napolitano said she would take legal action against employers who make money fromthe labor of illegal immigrants.

A major theme in Napolitano's short address was communication between the department and local and state law enforcement.

"We are very focused on how we can knit one DHS together," she said.

Napolitano said she wanted to give sheriff's departments access to immigration databases so illegal migrants in prison can be identified quickly and sent back to their home countries.

Combatting terrorism and preparing for natural disasters are other department goals, she said.

"Every person in our community has a role to play where a disaster is concerned. Help us to communicate that message," Napolitano told the law enforcement officers.


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