About three weeks ago, on May 23, we reported (rather confidently) that President Trump would appoint an “immigration czar” imminently and that he would be former Virginia attorney general and immigration hawk Ken Cuccinelli.
In doing so, we forgot the first rule of reporting on this administration: never be confident.
Cuccinelli, who no doubt would have been a fine choice for the largely undefined role, was instead on June 10 named Acting Director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency that manages legal immigration.
(This announcement was greeted by criticism from both parties–or, we should say, both left and right wings of the single ruling party, owned and financed by wealthy donors–and there was widespread speculation that he could never get Congressional approval if nominated for the “official” post. He has been too critical of too many high-level potentates in the Republican wing and for the Democrat wing he’s little short of the Antichrist. Texas Republican Senate John Cornyn charged, “He’s made a career attacking other Republicans,” which should disqualify him for doing almost anything. And Kamala Harris, who is running for president, said his appointment was “a threat to our country’s ideals.”)
So Cuccinelli is out for the czarship and maybe for any non-Acting role of any sort. Enter Tom Homan, former Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). On Friday, June 14, in an interview with Fox News, Trump (prematurely, it turns out) announced that Homan was coming back into the administration as “border czar.”
This, apparently, was news to Homan, at least according to CNN, for what that’s worth. Homan, now a Fox News contributor, told his colleagues after Trump’s announcement that details were still being worked out. Originally offered the then ill-defined position by former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, he had rejected the appointment because he felt it lacked sufficient authority. The details still under consideration probably refer to the shortcomings he saw in the original proposal.
Will he or won’t he? Like so much in the Trump era, it remains to be seen.
For more, see Fox News.