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White House Immigration Czarina


The Times ran a piece over the weekend profiling Cecilia Munoz, who is technically director of the White House Domestic Policy Council but in effect is chief of the administration’s immigration-policy operation. A former top lobbyist for La Raza (for which activity she won a MacArthur genius grant), she’s been gamely telling her former colleagues in the open-borders pressure groups that maintaining the appearance of immigration enforcement is necessary to get an amnesty through Congress. Specifically, she’s had to defend the administration decision to keep deportations at the congressionally mandated level of 400,000 per year (though they’ve cooked the books to reach that number). The point of that strategy (other than, you know, complying with the law) was to be able to point to “record levels” of deportations as proof that the enforcement-first demand has already been satisfied and that any further objections to amnesty were in bad faith.

But it’s been difficult for her. She found that she could tell people “wait til the second term!” only so many times before they started to get mad. The Times piece notes that “critics denounced her as a traitor and demanded that she resign.” A fellow open-borders lobbyist, now at the Center for American Progress, said of a PBS interview where Munoz defended the administration’s policies, “You could see the pain in her face.” (A transcript of the “painful” interview is here.) But the Times explains she’s been very successful at building “support for an immigration overhaul with religious leaders, unions and business executives” — I assume she’s also the White House point person for Grover Norquist and the Cato Institute. You have to admire her effectiveness at keeping the crazies from boiling over while putting together the real-world pieces needed to achieve those same crazies’ objectives.

But here’s the thing. Does anyone think Cecilia would continue to defend deportations, or any other form of immigration enforcement, after the amnesty is complete, which would be a matter of months after the bill signing? She’s been bravely eating her broccoli and turnips, telling others and herself that dessert is on its way. Once it arrives, there isn’t a snowball’s chance in hell she’s going back to the broccoli. And this isn’t just speculation; just a few years after the 1986 bill was passed, once the illegal population was safely amnestied, she pulled just that maneuver, authoring a report for La Raza calling for the end of the ban on hiring illegals.

In this, she’s an embodiment of the whole pro-amnesty side’s approach to enforcement: Do just enough to seem just credible enough to get 60 votes in the Senate and 20 Republicans to vote with the Democrats in the House. Then, kiss the enforcement good-bye. For Cecilia and her allies, passage of the Schumer-Rubio amnesty isn’t just a policy goal they think is good for the country; it’s a psychological necessity to justify their support for the limited immigration enforcement this administration has conducted, which we see as laughably inadequate but which they regard as an abomination. They need this bill to pass so they can be liberated from having to pretend to support enforcement. Would you trust anyone with that mindset to follow through on promises to enforce the law in the future?


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