We have previously discussed the public decision of President Obama to hold back from implementing his plan for immigration until after the election — and after voters can express their opposition at the voting places. Now, the Administration is not only public reaffirming that decision but insisting that (while they are preparing to implement the plan) they will also not tell anyone what they intend to do until after the elections. Those comments came from León Rodríguez, the new head of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) this week who tantalized an audience with the suggestion of sweeping but secret changes. It is extraordinary that politicians routinely get away with such positions. Millions are preparing to vote on the direction of the country, but one of the most important policies in this election is being openly hidden from them so that they cannot register their support or opposition.
Rodríguez spoke on Tuesday and said that they are hard at work and “We’re going to be ready” — after the elections. When a reporter asked the obvious question of what they are preparing, Rodríguez refused to answer — until after the election. Agencies are reportedly preparing for one of the most major changes ever ordered in the area — without any congressional approval.
Notably, while asking repeatedly for such information, the media is largely quiet in condemning the lack of transparency on such an important issue in this election. It is a cynical and manipulative decision to refuse any information to the public for months leading to this election. The President has made this one of his central political causes but has ordered a cone of silence to be lowered around the preparation to prevent voters from actually learning about the unilateral changes that he intends to order once they have gone home from the polls. Indeed, he is preparing to order the changes before the end of the year, which means in just a matter of a few weeks after the closing of the polls.
While refusing to give any information on the plan, Rodríguez did take time to chastise Georgetown Law School for putting him on the waiting list over thirty years ago in 1985. He first draw an analogy between the immigration reforms and law school wait lists and said that he tried to persuade Georgetown to let him in but was told he was lucky to be on a wait list. He then added “Looking back Georgetown, would you have admitted me? Would you have had different policies?”
I am glad that he got that off his chest.
He ended up getting his J.D. from Boston College Law School.