Jeh Johnson, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, believes that the immigrants have earned the right to be U.S. citizens. He said that the undocumented immigrants need to be legalized and permitted to obtain U.S. citizenship, in order to keep the country safe. He said that the country must offer an opportunity to the undocumented immigrants and to those who were brought to the country as children to become U.S. citizens.
According to him, an earned path to citizenship will encourage undocumented immigrants to come out of the shadows. He made the comments during the U.S. Conference for Mayors that was held in Washington DC. The conference called on the U.S. Congress to pass common sense immigration reform.
Republicans in the House are now planning to reveal their immigration principles. Some House Republicans like House Speaker John Boehner, are in favor of the path to legalization for the undocumented immigrants. However, they are not in favor of the path to citizenship.
Johnson also spoke about the five core missions of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He said that the DHS will focus on securing the borders of the country, enforcing the nation’s immigration laws, safeguarding cyberspace, guarding the country against terrorism and supporting emergency preparedness.
He said that the U.S. Conference of Mayors, businesses in the country and a great majority of Americans support common sense immigration reform. According to him, border security must be a part of immigration reform. He stated that comprehensive immigration reform would put in place an effective system for enforcing immigration laws and a bill for immigration reform should include a path to citizenship for all the undocumented immigrants.