From NBC's Mike Kosnar and Mark Murray
In testimony today before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Arizona's former governor -- Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano (D) -- says she has concerns about the state's new immigration law.
First, she noted that in Arizona, laws do not go into effect until 90 days after the close of the current state legislative session. Napolitano said that will give the Department of Justice time to review whether the law meets constitutional safeguards. When asked whether the law is constitutional, Napolitano refused to offer her own opinion.
What she did say was that from a law enforcement perspective, the law "will detract from and siphon resources that we need to focus on those in the country illegally who are, those who are committing the most serious crimes in addition to violating our nation's immigration laws."
Napolitano also said she has concerns that too many federal immigration resources will be needed in conjunction with any local or state arrests of simple violators -- such as detention and court proceedings -- when those resources should be used to go after more dangerous immigrants.
She went on to say that there is "no value added" by giving Arizona authorities the right to question anyone about their immigration status.