Blog & Updates
Transition, White House and Agency Picks
December 08, 2008 - Posted by Maurice Belanger
President-elect Obama has already announced several of his cabinet choices. Those related to immigration include:
Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano will be the Secretary of Homeland Security. As Secretary, she will be charged with overseeing the various immigration agencies that are part of the Department of Homeland Security. The choice of Governor Napolitano is a signal by the President-elect that immigration will be a focus of concern. As Governor of Arizona, Napolitano is acutely aware of the problems caused by the dysfunctional immigration system. While Governor Napolitano has supported tough enforcement measures, she has spoken out on the need for comprehensive immigration reform. (See the Forum’s press release here.)
Senator Hilary Clinton (D-NY) will serve as Secretary of State, and Eric Holder, former Deputy Attorney General under President Clinton, will be Attorney General.
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson will serve as Secretary of Commerce. Last year, President Bush enlisted the aid of his Homeland Security and Commerce Secretaries in lobbying Congress for comprehensive immigration reform. In the Obama Administration, these two posts will be filled by people who are solidly pro-reform.
Our friend and colleague Cecilia Muñoz has been named Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the White House. Ms. Muñoz has been Senior Vice President for the Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation at the National Council of La Raza, and was a long-time member of the National Immigration Forum’s Board of Directors. (See our press release here.)
The President-elect has set up a number of Policy Review Teams, one of which focuses on immigration. Leading that team are Stanford law Professor Tino Cuéllar and Georgetown University Law Center Dean T. Alexander Aleinikoff, who served as Executive Associate Commissioner for Programs and as General Counsel in the Immigration and Naturalization Service during the Clinton years.
You can find principles on the issue of immigration from the transition team here: