Napolitano to stay on for second term

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will remain in President Obama’s Cabinet at the start of his second term, a White House official confirmed to The Hill.

Napolitano is the latest member of the president’s Cabinet to choose to stay on. She joins Attorney General Eric HolderEric H. HolderKamala Harris slams Sessions on criminal justice Deputy AG backs Sessions' tough on crime policy Juan Williams: Trump's war on U.S. intelligence MORE, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusOPINION | 5 big ideas to halt America's opioid epidemic Aligning clinical and community resources improves health Sebelius on GOP healthcare plan: 'I'm not sure what the goal is here' MORE and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric ShinsekiEric ShinsekiHouse approves VA bill, sending it to Trump Senate backs bill making it easier to fire VA employees Shulkin confirmed to lead Dept. of Veterans Affairs MORE, all of whom the White House said would remain in their posts last week.

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Several Cabinet secretaries are planning to depart in the second term, and replacements have already been nominated for Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump sent over 1,000 tweets in first six months as president GOP Senate candidate attacks Anti-Defamation League for ‘witchhunt' on far right Feinstein: Trump Jr. will be subpoenaed if he refuses to testify MORE, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis resigned from Obama’s Cabinet last week, and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson stepped down last month.

Napolitano is the longest-serving head in the history of DHS and has garnered a great deal of praise from her Republican predecessors.

The former Arizona governor has stepped into the spotlight repeatedly during her tenure as secretary, which has focused heavily on border security and immigration enforcement.

Under Napolitano’s direction, the ranks of Customs and Border Protection and the Border Patrol have swelled to unprecedented levels and according to DHS statistics there has been a decrease in the number of attempts to illegally cross the border.

Many Republicans argue, though, that the border is still not secure and say more action needs to be taken before Congress takes up the issue of reforming the country’s immigration laws.

By committing to stay on for a second term Napolitano has positioned herself squarely next to Obama for what is likely to be a grueling and arduous debate as the administration pushes immigration reform as one of its major legislative priorities later this year.

Napolitano was in charge of implementing a deferred action program for certain illegal immigrants last year, in which young undocumented immigrants without violent criminal histories can apply for temporary visas and work permits.

As secretary, Napolitano has also taken a large role in attempting to protect the nation from terrorists, earning praise from both parties for helping to stop numerous bomb plots throughout the U.S., including the underwear bomber of 2009.

Justin Sink contributed.

This story was last updated at 10:56 a.m.