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The "Michael Brown" of Immigration
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, January 05, 2006

You can't call her the Harriet Miers of Immigration since Miers had the good grace to pull her name from consideration for the Supreme Court.

But President Bush has again appointed an unqualified person to a position of importance. In a recess appointment, he's named Julie L Myers to the head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). As National Review pointed out in September of last year:
As head of ICE, Myers would be in charge of detaining and removing illegal aliens; investigating alien smuggling, illegal arms exports, and money laundering; fining the employers of illegal aliens (well, actually they don’t bother with that any more); plus many, many other responsibilities. She would be the officer chiefly responsible for protecting the nation against terrorist threats once they have succeeded in infiltrating our borders, which are guarded by a different bureaucracy. Her most relevant previous experience was managing only 170 employees and a $25 million budget while at the Commerce department.
Talk about being underwhelmed by her resume ... then you have to consider this:
Given the importance of the position and a history of mismanagement in the immigration service, Congress took the unusual step of inserting a statutory requirement that nominees have a minimum of five years of experience in both management and law enforcement. Even a cursory reading of her resume reveals that the well-connected 36-year-old attorney’s background fails to comply with this legal requirement; in fact, she meets the bare minimum only by counting her current stint in White House Personnel, where she manages, by her own account, “up to three deputies as well as support staff and interns.”
Michelle Malkin, an outspoken critic of the administration's immigration policies, calls the appointment "a joke". She also quotes VP Dick Cheney who said:
"Either we are serious about fighting this war or we are not."
Well, given the appointment of the unqualified Myers to this important position, I'd have to go with "not".
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
I’m not impressed with the critics of this nomination.
I mean, it’s not like the people who these critics vew as ’qualified’, have been doing all that great a job.... Julie Myers was clearly intended to shake things up a bit as regards immigration... and I can’t say that’s something it doesn’t need.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
Yeah, what’s experience, right? She can learn the job within a year or two, huh?

And who cares what Congress mandates as "qualifications" for the job in its oversight authority?

Screw ’em, what do they know?

Let’s just say I’m not much impressed with her defenders, just as I wasn’t much impressed with the defenders of the Harriet Miers nomination.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
I mean, it’s not like the people who these critics vew as ’qualified’, have been doing all that great a job....
Maybe, since "people" aren’t working out, we ought appoint, say, a stalk of broccoli. Or a cute puppy. That’d shake things up, and — as you say — that’s what needs to be done.

Bithead is the only fellow I know who would have defended Caligula’s (mythical) appointment of a horse to the Senate on the grounds that, hey, why not?
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
I’m with Bithead, here.

Give the lady a chance, I say. Her critics should temper their rejection-impulse with the knowledge that this position is an agency one and a temporary one. In this job, Miers will act as a representative to this President, and her term will soon be up for review.

Also, I think (although I am no constitutional scholar) the Congress’ oversight authority (advise and consent) defers to the Executive’s discretion in choosing his cabinet members. And - let’s get real here, - after the "Bolton-Affair" I’m not sure Congress’s oversight carries the weight it that some think it should.

Let’s give the gal a chance to get this President’s work done in this department.
-Steve
 
Written By: Steve
URL: http://
A) she’s not a cabinet member, she’s an agency head and B) she’s unqualified per the stipulated requirements for the job.

And, given her appalling lack of experience, what is the "President’s work" in this department?

As for her "qualifications" these are the only two I can find:
Now comes Julie Myers, nominated to lead U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for the Department of Homeland Security without significant experience in the field. She is, however, the niece of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and bride of Michael Chertoff’s chief of staff.
Let’s give the gal a chance to get this President’s work done in this department.

No. If this is as important to our national security as I think it is, I’m not at all interested in hoping she can do a good job. "Give the gal a chance" is ok if the job is Wal-Mart cashier, but not ok for one of the more important (and previously neglected) aspects of our national security effort.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Let’s give the gal a chance to get this President’s work done in this department.

Enough with the reflexive rooting for the home team. If the emperor is wearing no clothes...
 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
bride of Michael Chertoff’s chief of staff
"It’s the Joooooos"
[/sarcasm]
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
McQ,
"...what is the "President’s work" in this department?"

Without knowing the details of her job description it is hard for any of us to gauge her ultimate suitability, but, my guess is she’ll be a liaison between Bush’s cabinet and the Immigration and Customs wings of the DHS.

I think this is a "networking" position, not a new "Czarist" or General’s post. It’s more of a Lilly Tomlin in "9-to-5"-type job, than a Bruce Willis one. She won’t be wearing fatigues and driving an Abrams, nor does she need to score high in a firing range to fulfill her agency.

And there is a check on her incompetency. She is accountable to her boss (her failures will accrue to his legacy), and there’ll sure be a lot of folks watching her if she screws up.

Give’er a shot!
-Steve
 
Written By: Steve
URL: http://
Steve, did you read the description of her job?
Myers would be in charge of detaining and removing illegal aliens; investigating alien smuggling, illegal arms exports, and money laundering; fining the employers of illegal aliens (well, actually they don’t bother with that any more); plus many, many other responsibilities. She would be the officer chiefly responsible for protecting the nation against terrorist threats once they have succeeded in infiltrating our borders, which are guarded by a different bureaucracy.
And her experience relevant to the job?
Her most relevant previous experience was managing only 170 employees and a $25 million budget while at the Commerce epartment.
Why did Congress find it so important to make this level experience a requirement for the job if they didn’t think it was relevant and important?
....nominees have a minimum of five years of experience in both management and law enforcement.
She doesn’t even get close to meeting the minimum. And unless you can make a convincing case, that given her dearth of qualification, she was still the best available to fill the position, I’d have to say there’s really no argument for her filling the slot except "what the heck, give her a shot".

My answer is still "no". I don’t care to "give her a shot". I want a qualified person in that position, and she’s not that person.

 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
She was an Assistant US attorney, Chief of Staff in the CRIMINAL Division and had a law enforcement job at Commerce. So, it is just not correct to say she didn’t meet the minimum qualifications.

Malkin, McQ and other critics think that you have to be in effect a "beat cop" to get experience in law enforcement.

What do the critics think the job entails? Leading raids?

No, it is an admiministrative job. It is shuffling papers and talking mainly.


 
Written By: Bob
URL: http://
Bithead is the only fellow I know who would have defended Caligula’s (mythical) appointment of a horse to the Senate on the grounds that, hey, why not?

Where it is true, Jon, that Caligula’s horse did not do so well on the appropriations committee. It is a forgotten fact of history that the horse had enough principles to refuse campaign contributions from Jacksimus Abramoficus Maximus.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Oh, sure, Mr Ed didn’t take contributions directly from Jacksimus, but he certainly felt his oats from Jacksimus-connected groups like the Popular Front of Judea. (splitters!)
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
No, McQ, I hadn’t read it yet. I have to admit the excerpted description you provided does sound rather "hands-on" to me. (What’s the source of the exerpt?)

I’m not sure managing 170 employees and $25M annually is small beans, though. (I can’t even conceive of it), and if her assignment is largely an "inter-office coordinator" then this prior experience is pertinent.

Jon, I’m not sure Harriet Myers would like being compared to Calugula’s horse. Just a feeling...
-Steve
 
Written By: Steve
URL: http://
Malkin, McQ and other critics think that you have to be in effect a "beat cop" to get experience in law enforcement.

So would you agree that, say, a quartermaster Lieutenant Colonel is fully qualified to command an infantry battalion?

If so, how about a quartermaster major?

Experience-wise, that’s about where this lady is.

And no, she won’t be leading raids, because someone will have to explain to her what the hell they are.

No, it is an admiministrative job. It is shuffling papers and talking mainly.

If it’s a paper shuffling and "talking" job, who does the fixing of the organizational problems and the taking the lead in implementing the ICE mission?

It’s a leadership job and she hasn’t the bona fides or experience to do that.

You tell me, in an organization which has been unfocused and ineffective what experience does she bring which will give her the ability to recognize and correct those problems without understanding the source of them?

More importantly, tell me she was the absolute most qualified person for the job.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
No, McQ, I hadn’t read it yet. I have to admit the excerpted description you provided does sound rather "hands-on" to me. (What’s the source of the exerpt?)

Read the post, Steve. I took it directly from the cite there.

I’m not sure managing 170 employees and $25M annually is small beans, though. (I can’t even conceive of it), and if her assignment is largely an "inter-office coordinator" then this prior experience is pertinent.

In the business world, that could be the job of a plant manager (of a relatively small plant). That would hardly qualify him or her to be CEO of a multi-billion dollar corporation, would it? Especially if the plant manager has worked in a different industry altoghter.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
"More importantly, tell me she was the absolute most qualified person for the job"

Straw man alert! Who says she is the "absolute most qualified person"? Is that a minimum requirement? Whom in government meets such a criteria?

The fact that others may be more qualified does not mean that she is not qualified.
 
Written By: Bob
URL: http://
Straw man alert! Who says she is the "absolute most qualified person"? Is that a minimum requirement? Whom in government meets such a criteria?

Er, someone with " a minimum of five years of experience in both management and law enforcement" as mandated by Congress would be a good start. She doesn’t meet that "minimum".

The fact that others may be more qualified does not mean that she is not qualified.

Unfortunately, in this case, it does.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
I’m not sure managing 170 employees and $25M annually is small beans, though. (I can’t even conceive of it)

I can. It’s approximately a principal at a middling to large high school.
 
Written By: Achillea
URL: http://
Yeah, what’s experience, right? She can learn the job within a year or two, huh?
If the ’experienced’ folk were doing the job well, I’d agree... but demonstrably they are not.
In the business world, that could be the job of a plant manager (of a relatively small plant). That would hardly qualify him or her to be CEO of a multi-billion dollar corporation, would it? Especially if the plant manager has worked in a different industry altoghter.
Hmmmm.
What experience did Bill Gates have to run a multi-billion dollar corporation?
He seems to have been rather successful at it, despite that lack.

The resume ain’t the whole deal, McQ.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
If the ’experienced’ folk were doing the job well, I’d agree... but demonstrably they are not.

Well unfortunately the guy she’s replacing had about the same background as she does.

The resume ain’t the whole deal, McQ.

Nope, mostly it has to do with relevant experience.

She doesn’t have it.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
What experience did Bill Gates have to run a multi-billion dollar corporation?
He seems to have been rather successful at it, despite that lack.


For every Bill Gates, there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of inexperienced, unqualified failures. That’s a hell of a huge gamble and not one we have to take.
 
Written By: Achillea
URL: http://

So would you agree that, say, a quartermaster Lieutenant Colonel is fully qualified to command an infantry battalion?

If so, how about a quartermaster major?

With or without a staff? You and Mr. Henke post as if she’s got to do all of the work all by her lonesome.

Sarcasm: I had no idea that our government required our high level appointees to work without a fucking staff. You’d think the government would be a lot smaller, wouldn’t you?

If, by some quirk of fate, she actually does have a staff and they are unable to guide her effectively, then maybe we need some lower level housekeeping.

 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
With or without a staff?

Who’s the leader?

If, by some quirk of fate, she actually does have a staff and they are unable to guide her effectively, then maybe we need some lower level housekeeping.

You mean the same staff that’s doing so freakin’ well now? Or a new staff brought in from the outside and with the same level of experience in the field as she has?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
She does have the 5 year minimum in the US attorney office, Justice and Commerce. Why doesn’t this service count? Because you say so? The statute does not define law enforcement as narrowly as you are doing. She served in law enforcement agencies so she is qualified per the statute.

You don’t think she is qualified, fine. But don’t say that her appointment violates the law.

 
Written By: Bob
URL: http://
Because you say so?

Nope.

The statute does not define law enforcement as narrowly as you are doing.

How do you know? It says 5 years law enforcment and 5 years managment. She’s 36. You tell me what level of experience she has in both?

But don’t say that her appointment violates the law.

Point to where I said that. I’ve repeatedly said she’s unqualified.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
I have 27 years experience as a Customs/ICE special agent. Every colleague that I have talked with concerning this appointment believes that Ms. Myers is NOT qualified for the job. I believe it would be very difficult to find a LESS qualified person to head this agency. Of course, there is a method to the madness of this appointment. The Bush Administration does NOT want an effective leader for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. That is the only reason ICE and CBP (Customs & Border Protection) were made into two separate agencies when legacy Customs & INS became part of the Department of Homeland Security. The best recipe for ineffective immigration enforcement; Place field operations in one agency and criminal investigations in another agency. Then put both under a fledging Department of Homeland Security bureaucracy. You then will be assured that nothing will be done to enforce the immigration laws. Bush can’t afford to solve the illegal immigration dilemma. Half the republicans need illegal immigrants to perform cheap labor in their businesses. The other half consists of the religious right/minutemen faction, who want every single illegal alien blocked from entering and those already here, removed immediately. You can’t please both of these republican factions, so you simply tell the right wingers you are doing everything you can to stop illegal immigration. You front ICE and CBP as working "southwest border initiatives" etc. to take care of the problem. You hire hundreds of new Border Patrol agents to throw at the problem. The business side of the Republican Party is happy since they know nothing really gets accomplished. The Right loves the rhetoric. ICE is totally ineffective with both crippled management and finances. CBP does not work “interior enforcement". So the undocumented aliens continue to cross the border and then find jobs all over the United States. Immigration enforcement and reform is all political smoke and mirrors. Don’t look for this to change under the current President. The Democrats will use ICE and FEMA ineffectiveness as campaign issues in the mid term and presidential elections. The FBI, DEA and other agencies have taken over investigations that were formally conducted by U.S. Customs Office of Investigations prior to the merger. ICE is left to do what the INS did about illegal immigration; NOTHING. ICE will be just as ineffective as the abolished INS. An unqualified, weak, ineffective leader assures the tradition of ineffective immigration enforcement will continue. Julie Myers is there for a reason. Not being qualified is the best way to qualify! Political smoke and mirrors….
 
Written By: Rastis P. Rulz
URL: http://
Bob, Mark, Bithead - we’ve all pitched for the gal, but to no avail.

Despite the facts that congressional "oversight" has proven to be inconsistent and that the executive branch too has perogatives in the nomination process, McQ has a point: Myer’s work experience can be construed as lacking.

So, is Myers just another Bush-crony renominated by a tone-deaf administration? Or is her recess appointment really a devious attempt to keep cheap labor flowing (as Rastis suggests above)?

Both sound improbable to me.
-Steve
 
Written By: Steve
URL: http://
Nope, mostly it has to do with relevant experience.and...
. I believe it would be very difficult to find a LESS qualified person to head this agency
Let’s face it gentlemen. We’ve had people with "relevant experience and" on their resume. We’ve had it for some time. If you look really close you may notice that both our immigration policy and our borders are disaster areas. All brought to us by people that you approve of.

You’d have to work a little harder to convince me that bringing anyone in on this that you believe worthwhile is going to change the situation for the better... because I’ve been watching it for the last 30 years and the last several folks who we were told were exerts or had lost of relative experience.... and the border hasn’t changed a bit... except for the worse.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
You’d have to work a little harder to convince me that bringing anyone in on this that you believe worthwhile is going to change the situation for the better... because I’ve been watching it for the last 30 years and the last several folks who we were told were exerts or had lost of relative experience.... and the border hasn’t changed a bit... except for the worse.

Which, of course, makes the argument for bringing someone in with even less experience credible, right?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
"What experience did Bill Gates have to run a multi-billion dollar corporation?
He seems to have been rather successful at it, despite that lack."

He didn’t start off running a large business, he started small and as the business grew, he learned. Plus he had detailed technical expertise in the products.
 
Written By: timctual
URL: http://


Which, of course, makes the argument for bringing someone in with even less experience credible, right?
No, it simply makes the requirement for experienced people less credible. What’s been happening hasn’t been working. Do you really want someone to bring in more of the same?
He didn’t start off running a large business, he started small and as the business grew, he learned
Quite correct. He started at the starting line. Which regarding immigration is where I’d say we are, right now.
Plus he had detailed technical expertise in the products.
You may actually want a look into that situation a little more closely before speaking on it again. The man at the time wasn’t even what we would consider a hacker today.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
No, it simply makes the requirement for experienced people less credible.

Really? Tell that to Tommy Franks. Hell with your theory, Howard Dean would have done just as well going into Iraq.

Good grief, yours is one poor argument and it sure doesn’t dovetail with the reality I live in.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
You do know the difference between experience and ideology don’t you?
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
You do know the difference between experience and ideology don’t you?

I know I’m not going to spend any more time on this subject polevaulting over mouseturds. I’ve had my say, as have you. We disagree.

Such is life.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
I have 27 years experience as a Customs/ICE special agent. Every colleague that I have talked with concerning this appointment believes that Ms. Myers is NOT qualified for the job. I believe it would be very difficult to find a LESS qualified person to head this agency. Of course, there is a method to the madness of this appointment. The Bush Administration does NOT want an effective leader for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. That is the only reason ICE and CBP (Customs & Border Protection) were made into two separate agencies when legacy Customs & INS became part of the Department of Homeland Security. The best recipe for ineffective immigration enforcement; Place field operations in one agency and criminal investigations in another agency. Then put both under a fledging Department of Homeland Security bureaucracy. You then will be assured that nothing will be done to enforce the immigration laws. Bush can’t afford to solve the illegal immigration dilemma. Half the republicans need illegal immigrants to perform cheap labor in their businesses. The other half consists of the religious right/minutemen faction, who want every single illegal alien blocked from entering and those already here, removed immediately. You can’t please both of these republican factions, so you simply tell the right wingers you are doing everything you can to stop illegal immigration. You front ICE and CBP as working "southwest border initiatives" etc. to take care of the problem. You hire hundreds of new Border Patrol agents to throw at the problem. The business side of the Republican Party is happy since they know nothing really gets accomplished. The Right loves the rhetoric. ICE is totally ineffective with both crippled management and finances. CBP does not work “interior enforcement". So the undocumented aliens continue to cross the border and then find jobs all over the United States. Immigration enforcement and reform is all political smoke and mirrors. Don’t look for this to change under the current President. The Democrats will use ICE and FEMA ineffectiveness as campaign issues in the mid term and presidential elections. The FBI, DEA and other agencies have taken over investigations that were formally conducted by U.S. Customs Office of Investigations prior to the merger. ICE is left to do what the INS did about illegal immigration; NOTHING. ICE will be just as ineffective as the abolished INS. An unqualified, weak, ineffective leader assures the tradition of ineffective immigration enforcement will continue. Julie Myers is there for a reason. Not being qualified is the best way to qualify! Political smoke and mirrors….
 
Written By: Rastis P. Rulz
URL: http://
Good grief, yours is one poor argument and it sure doesn’t dovetail with the reality I live in.
It’s just one more example of my longstanding theory that correlation has actually become causation!

Bring on Secretary Broccoli! I anxiously await Bitheads explanation for why the whole "sentience" thing has not worked out and it’s time to give vegetables a shot!
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Jon, is it wise to continue with things that are demonstrably not working?
At the least, you might explain how, given what we’ve been doing hasn’t been working, the danger is increased by such an appointment? More to the point, you might try explaining, in detail how this appointment would make anything worse, other than your mood?





 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com

 
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