The two-year presidential campaign created new legions of policy wonks. Now, with the Bush-to-Obama interregnum in full swing, the wonks have turned into an avid audience observing the jo-ha-kyū movements of Kabuki theatre as performed by the new administration-in-waiting.
On the immigration front, the thoughtful and deliberate character of the President-elect is on full, if subtle, display. During the campaign, he took counsel from two pro-immigration heavyweights — Bill Ong Hing and Jennifer Chacón. Now, he’s announced the appointment of a duo of leading lights to head his immigration advisory group: Alexander Aleinikoff, who has long argued for the fundamental restructuring of our immigration system and Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, reported by the ABA to be the next Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), who has argued forcefully for the restoration of habeus corpus.
In a spirit of bipartisanship (much like the rumored retention of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates), President-elect Obama should consider keeping in place the current Ombudsman to USCIS (Michael Dougherty) who despite a very short tenure has made great strides in keeping USCIS on its toes.