Obama Must Usher In Era of Rational and Transparent Government

November 5, 2008

Before anything, I’d like to congratulate Sen. Obama for his astonishing campaign.

First and foremost, I’d like to see an Obama administration bring rationality and transparency back to the art of government, the science of statecraft. Obama should, for example, end immediately the dangerously irrational rise of miltarized immigration policy — deploying heavily-armed Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to terrorize gardners, maids and their children in their homes, schools and workplaces, denying these families habeas corpus and jailing hundreds of thousands of them under the Guantanamo-like conditions of jails run by corrupt companies.

Rather than try to reform ICE, one of the most violent, inefficient and militarized branches of government, the Obama Administration should take government immigration functions out of the massive and militarized bureaucracy of the Department of Homeland Security. For most of the history of immigration policy, immigration-related matters have been handled by non-militarized branches of government like the Department of Labor and others. Lastly, an Obama Administration should set a more humane and rational tone around immigration, a tone that shuts down the borders of irrationality and violence in government while also fostering greater understanding of and openness to the geopolitical, legal and other complexities of immigration today.

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