The Washington Post is raising another instance where the Obama Administration appears to be withholding information on immigration for political purposes — further contradicting President Obama’s pledge to be the most transparent Administration is history. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection releases its annual statistics on October 10th before the elections. Someone in the Administration then ordered the statistics taken down in what the Post is calling a move that seemed to confirm the view of “the Obama administration playing politics with public information.” Notably, the Post however only wrote about the story today so any such intention worked to keep the information out of the public debate. There is a reason why these statistics would be particularly bothersome before an election.
The Administration previously admitted that it would not discuss its plans for unilateral immigration action until after voters had gone home from the polls.
The data that was taken down within hours contained one potentially negative piece of information for the Administration: Most of the people the Border Patrol stopped from sneaking into the country last year were from countries other than Mexico. That would support the view that the border has become a magnet due to the porous protection and the draw of stories promising plans for amnesty. Regardless of the reason, such information should be released to the public — particularly before an election where immigration was a prominent issue.
The Administration says that it merely wants to release all data as part of a comprehensive disclosure and that internal administrative issues have delayed the released until after the election.
Once again, I am less concerned with the merits of the immigration debate than I am about the active effort to prevent voters from learning about the data or the plans for immigration policies. There seems a growing cynicism over the goals transparency in government — an open dismissal of any obligation to allow voters to make their own decisions based on data of this kind. I felt the same way about such efforts during the Bush Administration. While we cannot always expect honest government, we can at least demand open government as citizens. That was one of the most redeeming issues upon which President Obama ran as a new candidate. It seems a long time ago.
Source: Washington Post