Napolitano stepping down as Homeland Security chief

Craig Smith

Napolitano stepping down as Homeland Security chief

CREATED Jul. 12, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano is stepping down.  The former Arizona governor is resigning to lead the California University system.

Janet Napolitano traded being Arizona Governor, for one of the biggest jobs in Washington: managing the massive Department of Homeland Security which merged more than 20 agencies after 9-11.
Now she will have a big, but very different job, leading the California University system.
Southern Arizona Congressman Ron Barber says at Homeland Security she did a good job in a tough assignment but whoever the President nominates to take over still has plenty of work to do.

"Some improvements have been made on border security but in my district I still have too many of my constituents who are in danger every single day from the cartels.  We have to plug that hole.  We are still the most porous area of the Southwest border. That has to stop."
Senator John McCain said Arizonans can be proud of how their former governor performed in a tough job.  He says, "We have had our share of disagreements during her time as Secretary, but I have never doubted her integrity, work ethic or commitment to our nation's security."
Among border sheriffs, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik says, "I appreciate her service and wish her well in future endeavors."
Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada thinks maybe Napolitano grew tired of the politics and pressure.

"It's a terrible loss, obviously.  She had great ties to Arizona and Santa Cruz County.  She was always around.  She was very helpful, very knowledgeable.  It's going to be a loss to Arizona and the whole country."
Napolitano plans to stay on until sometime in September.
She is resigning just as the House of Representatives takes on the tricky issue of immigration reform.  Congressman Barber thinks Napolitano's exit will not affect the immigration debate in the House very much.  He thinks it will focus more on what House members want to do.