Friday, June 16, 2006

More P.R. from D.C.: I.C.E. Raids

Congress is not the only Washington entity trying to look tough on immigration. To prove her mettle in the midst of the immigration debate, Julie Myers, Assistant Secretary of Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced more immigration raids ("enforcement measures") at Dulles Airport and other locations. It's difficult to see these actions as much more than public relations ploys considering how Secretary Myers was appointed to her job this year by the Bush Adminstration.

Julie Myers, who is 36 years old, had no experience in immigration or enforcement when she was appointed by President Bush as a 'recess appointment' at the beginning of the year, a maneuver that means she was given the job without Congressional approval (The same move was used for contraversial nominee John Bolton as United Nations Ambassador). Her uncle, General Richard Myers, is the out-going Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and her husband John F. Wood is the Chief of Staff of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. Critics included Senators, the DHS employee union and even rabid anti-immigrant Michelle Malkin. After the post-Katrina debacle with unqualified FEMA appointee Michael Brown (Bush's "Brownie"), many think that the Bush Adminstration should have learned lessons about avoiding cronyism because it results in the appointment of unqualified individuals.

Assistant Secretary Myers has a year to prove herself since her appointment only lasts until January 3, 2007 without Congressional approval. So is it any wonder that the last few weeks have been her opportunity to show how tough she can be? (Note that it occurred in the lull between the Senate bill's passage and the up-coming conference committee.) Never mind that the raids will result in the destruction of families by deporting breadwinners and disruption of businesses. But when your bosses and role models think postering is more important than substantive change, is it any wonder she's getting in on the P.R. circuit?