The first days of the Obama administration have already witnessed a new form of alternative energy. Long pent-up momentum has been released in the forward movement of rallying cries for comprehensive immigration reform. With no time to wait or patience, the President’s campaign supporters urge quick action. Others urge action on backlog reduction at USCIS and the Labor Department.
In the yin and yang of immigration, however, immigration advocates are heartened by the negative energy of just-in-time scrutiny of the Bush administration’s twilight adoption of immigration regulations. The new President’s Chief of Staff has issued a memo that urges the Executive Branch department heads to review for 60 days all new and proposed regulations. The memo makes exceptions for national security and the public welfare. But it also raises fresh hopes that ill-advised initiatives like the federal contractor E-Verify mandate might be reconsidered or put on ice until the error-prone system is improved.
Like a gyroscope spinning in perfect balance, the Obama administration must channel the positive energy of reform. It must also rethink the failed Bush late-term policy of enforcement-only.