Republicans accuse Napolitano of hiding info on immigration enforcement

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano has failed to answer questions from Congress about whether her agency is property enforcing the nation's immigration laws, four GOP lawmakers said Wednesday. 

The four Republican senators said the feared Napolitano's department was trying to conceal information from the public. 

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"Your failure to respond to our oversight request is deeply troubling, and suggests that your Department is attempting to conceal information from the American people," Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) wrote to Napolitano on Wednesday.

"Congress and the American people have the right to a serious, prompt, and complete response to our questions."

The four senators wrote to Napolitano in August to ask a series of questions about whether DHS is properly assessing whether immigrants are likely to require government assistance. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), officials are supposed to deny U.S. entry to immigrants who are likely to need federal aid.

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They wrote their August letter after reports that the U.S. Department of Agriculture was encouraging Mexican citizens to emigrate to the U.S. and enroll in the federal food stamp program. The senators argued that this would appear to violate the INA, and said government appears to only be assessing whether immigrants will need help under the Supplemental Security Income and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families programs, not dozens of other programs like food stamps.


"We were thus shocked to discover that both the State Department and DHS exclude reliance on almost all governmental welfare programs when evaluating whether an alien is likely to become a public charge," they wrote in August.

The senators asked Napolitano to reply to their questions by Aug. 20. But with that deadline passed, they asked on Wednesday for answers by Oct. 1.

It is the second GOP letter asking for information in as many days. On Tuesday, House Republicans accused the Department of Labor of hiding information about possible job losses due to the sequester, and said Labor never answered questions they wanted answered by mid-August.

House Republicans also set an Oct. 1 deadline for answers on that issue.