Which Of These Racist A-Holes Will Be Trump's 'Immigration Czar'?
The Associated Press reports Donald Trump is pondering the possibility of appointing a Border Czar or an Immigration Czar of some kind, somebody who can coordinate Trump's all important Deport Everybody and Close the Border agendas across the multiple federal agencies currently responsible for carrying out immigration policy. Nothing's set yet, but the "four people familiar with the discussions" of the possible job told the AP Trump's already considering two stellar candidates out of all his immigrant-hatin' pals on the right: Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, and former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. The story notes that Cuccinelli was seen at the White House on Monday, but that doesn't necessarily rule out other candidates either. Like, is David Duke available?
The new immigration czar, if the position is actually created, would "serve as the 'face' of the administration on immigration issues," since apparently Americans still have a negative reaction to the policy's current face, with its creepy little rectangular mustache. /:=(Haha, we are kidding, mostly it sounds like Trump may want a new face for immigration because DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen still won't resign, jeez.)
The AP heard from an unnamed Homeland Security official (let's say the name is "Schmirstjen Schmielsen"), who explained
that White House czars have been appointed in the past when there has been an "urgent need" for sustained, inter-agency policy coordination.While Homeland Security often plays a leading role when it comes to immigration policy and enforcement, the department is not in charge of officials at the departments of Health and Human Services, State, Defense and Justice, which often play key roles.
This is quite true, and as we have sometimes noted when discussing the administration's family separation and baby jails policies, the welter of different agencies involved sometimes seems like a deliberate strategy to confuse people and make sure no one agency is actually responsible for anything. For instance, Homeland Security oversees Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the two big police agencies, while Health and Human Services (HHS) is responsible (again with multiple levels of bureaucracy) for the baby jails and for placing unaccompanied minors with US sponsor families. The complete lack of coordination between HHS and Homeland Security during the "zero tolerance" family separation policy is one reason HHS says it may simply be impossible to account for all the kids who were taken from their parents, so let's not bother.
In addition, the Justice Department is responsible for running the immigration courts that decide who will be allowed to stay in the US. Yes, the name "courts" is in there, but immigration judges work for the Executive branch, not the Judiciary. In addition, Justice has the important task of trying to fuck up years of settled policy on who can apply for asylum, and how their cases can best be ignored forever. And Justice also has the job of making up lame excuses for Trump's monstrous immigration policies when the government gets sued. Presumably, some kind of coordination by a czar could be useful, since when Jeff Sessions announced the family separation policy, he did so without any other agencies knowing a damn thing about it.
And finally, the Defense Department will sometimes be involved with immigration matters, like portions of building WALL, not to mention Trump's occasional deployments of the military to guard empty desert and Republican incumbency in close midterm elections. Oh yes, and having its construction budget ransacked to pay for WALL, though really a Border Czar wouldn't need to coordinate with the Pentagon on that, just tell them what parts of the budget will be raided.
The AP notes that if the Immigration Czar is based in the White House, there would be no need for Senate confirmation, while basing that person in Homeland Security might invite congressional calls for the position to need confirmation, so no, the administration will definitely not do THAT. A czar in the White House, on the other hand,
could coordinate immigration policy across various agencies, working closely with aides who are deeply involved in the issue, including senior advisers Stephen Miller and Jared Kushner, national security adviser John Bolton and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who supports the idea.
It's unclear at this point whether any eventual appointee would also be delegated a task several other White House aides have balked at, shopping for live kittens to feed Miller twice daily. (Allegedly.) The bigger and more beseeching their eyes are, the more powerful he becomes. (Allegedly.)
Both potential candidates for the job have long histories in the essential skill of being a garbage human being on immigration. In addition to being a proponent of much beloved Republican bullshit on "voter fraud," Kobach has also been a big mover and shaker in anti-immigration circles. He wrote Arizona's mostly unconstitutional "Papers Please" law, and also sold a whole bunch of municipalities on anti-immigrant laws that tended to get overturned in court. He also served as co-chair, with Mike Pence, of Trump's fraudulent voting commission, which was disbanded after failing deeply.
Cuccinelli may perhaps be more well-known at Wonkette for his defense of unconstitutional laws against buttsex and his more recent stint selling insurance to gun owners in case they shoot unarmed black kids. But as the AP notes, Cooch has some real anti-immigration chops, too!
Cuccinelli has advocated for denying citizenship to American-born children of parents living in the U.S. illegally, limiting in-state tuition at public universities only to those who are citizens or legal residents, and allowing workers to file lawsuits when an employer knowingly hires someone living in the country illegally for taking a job from a "law abiding competitor."
We can't say who exactly is likely to have the edge in this important job competition. Somehow, though, given just how badly he fucked up as the lead attorney defending the immigration law he gave Kansas, we're thinking it could be Kobach. He seems more likely to meet one of the other job requirements for any White House job, too, which is smarmily defending everything Trump says and smiling adoringly at the Great Man after Trump calls him an idiot.
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.