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U.S. Homeland Security Secretary resigns


11:47, July 13, 2013

WASHINGTON, July 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced on Friday she will resign from her post and become the next president of the University of California system.

Napolitano said in a statement that serving as the Secretary of Homeland Security for more than four years has been the highlight of her professional career.

She thanked U.S. President Barack Obama for the chance to serve the nation "during this important chapter in our history."

"We have worked together to minimize threats of all kinds to the American public," she said.

According to a statement released by the White House, Obama thanked Napolitano for her "outstanding work" and her leadership in protecting U.S. homeland against terrorist attacks.

"At the Department of Homeland Security, Janet's portfolio has included some of the toughest challenges facing our country," said Obama.

As a vocal proponent of the immigration overhaul, Napolitano's departure also comes amid a high-profile legislative push for comprehensive immigration reform. A Senate bill of immigration reform will grant millions of undocumented immigrants currently in the country an earned pathway to citizenship. The issue will meet much greater resistance in the lower chamber of the Congress as Republicans call for further tightening border security.

In her statement, Napolitano stressed that the Department of Homeland Security has implemented "smart steps" that make the U.S. immigration system fairer and more focused while deploying record resources to protect the borders.

"Since day one, Janet has led my administration's effort to secure our borders, deploying a historic number of resources, while also taking steps to make our immigration system fairer and more consistent with our values," said the president.

Napolitano will be nominated as the next president of the University of California system, one of the elite public school systems in the United States. She was the first woman to head the Department of Homeland Security, a cabinet department created in response to the September 11 attacks, and will also become the first woman to lead the 10-campus group.

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