Republicans accuse Napolitano of hiding info on immigration enforcement

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano has failed to answer questions from Congress about whether her agency is property enforcing the nation's immigration laws, four GOP lawmakers said Wednesday. 

The four Republican senators said the feared Napolitano's department was trying to conceal information from the public. 

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"Your failure to respond to our oversight request is deeply troubling, and suggests that your Department is attempting to conceal information from the American people," Sens. Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsTrump, Clinton discuss counterterrorism with Egyptian president GOP senators want immigration details on attack suspects GOP pressures Kerry on Russia's use of Iranian airbase MORE (R-Ala.), Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleySenate rivals gear up for debates Grassley pulling away from Dem challenger Overnight Finance: McConnell offers 'clean' funding bill | Dems pan proposal | Flint aid, internet measure not included | More heat for Wells Fargo | New concerns on investor visas MORE (R-Iowa), Orrin HatchOrrin HatchInternet companies dominate tech lobbying Senate panel approves pension rescue for coal miners Overnight Tech: GOP says internet fight isn't over | EU chief defends Apple tax ruling | Feds roll out self-driving car guidelines | Netflix's China worries MORE (R-Utah) and Pat RobertsPat RobertsSenate panel approves pension rescue for coal miners Congress set for Saudi showdown with Obama GOP pressures Kerry on Russia's use of Iranian airbase MORE (R-Kan.) wrote to Napolitano on Wednesday.

"Congress and the American people have the right to a serious, prompt, and complete response to our questions."

The four senators wrote to Napolitano in August to ask a series of questions about whether DHS is properly assessing whether immigrants are likely to require government assistance. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), officials are supposed to deny U.S. entry to immigrants who are likely to need federal aid.

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They wrote their August letter after reports that the U.S. Department of Agriculture was encouraging Mexican citizens to emigrate to the U.S. and enroll in the federal food stamp program. The senators argued that this would appear to violate the INA, and said government appears to only be assessing whether immigrants will need help under the Supplemental Security Income and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families programs, not dozens of other programs like food stamps.


"We were thus shocked to discover that both the State Department and DHS exclude reliance on almost all governmental welfare programs when evaluating whether an alien is likely to become a public charge," they wrote in August.

The senators asked Napolitano to reply to their questions by Aug. 20. But with that deadline passed, they asked on Wednesday for answers by Oct. 1.

It is the second GOP letter asking for information in as many days. On Tuesday, House Republicans accused the Department of Labor of hiding information about possible job losses due to the sequester, and said Labor never answered questions they wanted answered by mid-August.

House Republicans also set an Oct. 1 deadline for answers on that issue.