BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - During Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano's press conference about disaster preparedness, she was also asked about illegal immigration and the threat it poses to our national security.
She said her office is working diligently to create a way to make tamper proof identifications, for all non-residents who come into the United States.
It's estimated that between 11 and 20 million illegal immigrants live freely in the United States. Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour doesn't always agree with this administration on immigration reform, but he liked what he heard about a new form of identification for non-citizens Sunday at the National Governors Association Conference in Biloxi.
Gov. Barbour said, "I'm not sure they agree as strongly as I do about the secure borders and particularly the fence and that sort of stuff, but I think they are serious here when they talk about getting a driver's license that's fool proof."
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said if her tamper proof identification program is put into effect, it would be a crucial tool to keep America safe from those who mean us harm.
Secretary Janet Napolitano said, "That is a big, big deal. Why is that? If we had had that prior to 9/11, the 9/11 hijackers, many of them would not have had the kind of I.D. they needed to board a plane. The I.D. that you will get now if you are not a U.S. citizen, but you are here under some other immigration status, let's say you have some sort of visa. Your license will only be good for as long as you have a visa for."
The governor said that is the most important part of what Director Napolitano said, because most illegal immigrants simply stay here undetected and our government has no way to keep up with them.
"That's very important because a large percentage, maybe as much as 40 percent of the illegal aliens who are here, came here legally," said Barbour. "They had a visa to come here when they came, but when their visa expired, they stayed."
The governor said no administration in our government has ever committed to finding those who break our laws by simply over staying their welcome. Our Homeland Security Director said, this would change that.
"So if you're here on a visa of any kind, your driver's license will expire the day your visa expires, and that will be printed right there on your driver's license," Napolitano said. "So that is a big plus."