DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING – Committee has moved into Questions and Answers.

Leahy is questioning Napolitano. Started off with Real ID. She says working with Congress and Governors to “craft a new solution.”

Sessions talking workplace raids. Napolitano emphasizes that DHS is continuing all enforcement actions.

Swine flu rears it head–closing the border and more schools does not make sense. Napolitano has it right on swine flu.

Conversation turns to comprehensive immigration reform… Napolitano outlines what needs to be done on immigration: (1) strong and effective enforcement over time at more than just the border (She’s right on this one!) , (2) Reform visa system (Agreed!) (3) Secretary declined to state what should be done with illegals here in United States. Says she will wait to describe her views on this until Congress takes up comprehensive reform. Plays it safe, I’m sure Senator Kohl wants answer- but didn’t push her further.

My thoughts: Solution shouldn’t be amnesty or legalization. Heritage’s Robert Rector writes about this all the time— massive cost in terrible economy.

UPDATE: Durbin talks DREAM Act–allows undocumented people to become legalized through military service or 2 years college. Napolitano supports.

But then he moves to guns on border. We need to stop illegal arms trafficking. This is true- but Napolitano rightly points out that the laws on the books can be used to do this- we just need to do it. To me, legislative fix probably not best- could inhibit rights of gun owners in u.s.

UPDATE: Sen. Whitehouse talking “hometown” security. The gist: hometown security means more COPs (community policing) money. Secretary Napolitano: supports COPs, but defends DHS role.

Heritage position: more COPs money doesn’t mean less crime. Heritage expert Dave Muhlhausen works on this all the time. I would rather the conversation focus on integrating fed, state, local law enforcement to work together better.

UPDATE: Leahy brings the hammer- “What would comprehensive immigration reform look like?” Napolitano goes back to her Talking points- enforcement, visa reform, but leaves open what to do with illegals in U.S.

Leahy keeps pushing–starts telling stories– What does a dog biting a dairy cows have to do with comprehensive immigration reform?

Comprehensive not right approach–need incremental strategy. Secure border, enforce laws, reform visas and USCIS–but amnesty shouldn’t be part of it…