Under a bipartisan Senate framework, Democrats say, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano would have final say over whether the border is secure enough to put 11 million illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship.
If Napolitano does not provide the green light for putting illegal immigrants on a pathway to citizenship, the responsibility for judging whether the metrics for border security have been met will be given to her successor.
But the idea of letting Napolitano, who plans to stay in the cabinet for President Obama’s second term, or a future secretary of Homeland Security make the final call on the border has sparked alarm among other Republicans.
“My constituents are not going to accept a Washington bureaucrat making a representation the border is secure when they know it’s not true. So that’s unacceptable,” said Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn, who represents Texas.